Electronic Health Records vs Electronic Medical Records: Know the Difference

calender January 11, 2024
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Sunil Kumar

Principle Solution Architect

Electronic Health Records vs Electronic Medical Records: Know the Difference

Patient data is maintained safely through digital applications nowadays due to the technology that continues to advance. Where healthcare professionals had to rely on paper-based documents to store patient data and keep it safe, Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are the two most advanced and relatable technologies to keep patient records along with maintaining a number of things from providing a detailed patient summary to helping healthcare professionals with complex things like revenue management.
So we can consider our personal health information as a medical story. EMR or electronic medical record is a chapter written by a doctor or any doctor’s office in a broader perspective. It contains all the important details about your care within that practice: illnesses, medicine, medications that one is allergic to, and the treatment process. It is effective to use and offers the added benefit of tidiness, however, the resources that are available are only from that specific vendor.
Let’s head ahead with this blog to learn the key differences between EHR and EMR software.

What is the Meaning of EMR in Healthcare?

What is the meaning of EMR in Healthcare?

Basically, an EMR or Electronic Medical Record is an extremely high security digital storage for a patient’s information at a particular clinic or hospital. Still, one can imagine it as an exact equivalent of those big, paper maps that people used to use. It stores all the important details about your care within that practice: Identification of diseases, prescription drugs, list of allergic reactions and the resolved treatment plans.
Here’s the cool part: EMRs just make all of that so neat and tidy, easy to locate and very well arranged. It is easy for doctors to retrieve your information thus within a short span of time, they possess a full look at your health status. This can lead to more accurate diagnoses, improved treatments, and even fewer medical errors made while preparing prescriptions.
EMRs are a little like a personal diary for that particular clinic or the doctor’s office. The information cannot, however, always go with you to see other specialists in the same manner. That is where EHRs or the electronic health records come into the picture but that is another topic all together!

What is the EHR System in Healthcare?

What is the EHR System in Healthcare?

EHRs or Electronic Health Records contain everything an EMR has. The only difference is that it’s miles away from a specific health center thanks to messaging interoperability. Allowed customers can obtain and access patient health data and health information through secure exchanges, enabling health facts to be tracked wherever patients go. The EHR allows doctors to talk to different HCPs in real time.

How EMR and EHR are Different From Each Other?

We often visit doctors, clinics and chemists, but we rarely wonder what happens to our records after the consultation. It is somewhere in electronic records but it is quite possible that there is some confusion between EMR and EHR. 
Let’s take a look at the following table containing the key differences between EMR and EHR:

FeatureEMR (Electronic Medical Record)EHR (Electronic Health Record)
FocusOperations at one clinic or simply treatments performed within a particular practice.Complete health information across different healthcare providers.  
InformationPrescription, diagnosis, medications taken, known allergies, test results, and imaging from one practicing doctor.  All of the above, plus data from hospitals, clinics, specialists, etc.
SharingNot meant for sharing outside the practice        Safely shared within responsible healthcare providers
Patient AccessUsually not availableThis data can be shared with patients to keep them updated about their health updates.
AnalogyElectronic copy of an office-based paper map from the a certain doctor    Complete digital health story across different healthcare point of contact    

Advantages of EMR and EHR

You know how when you grow up and everyone builds a castle with legos? This is your health! Paper records are as complex as a box of random bricks, vast and utterly disorganized. EMRs and EHRs are similar to having all the recipes and organised biscuits – so much better for putting together a healthy lifestyle! Here’s how they help:

EMRs (Electronic Medical Records):

  • Find things fast: Say goodbye to searching for papers on the floor! The doctor can get information on your allergies, meds, and previous visits in a couple of seconds.
  • Less paperwork: It’s time for a revolution, it’s time to get rid of forms! The majority of the information is processed through the computer and is barely written on paper, which would save much of your time as well as that of the doctor.
  • Fewer mistakes: It can also ensure that several things like the medications given are not easily misdiagnosed or wrongly prescribed.

EHRs (Electronic Health Records) –

  • The full picture: Your personal health story to all your doctors (not only to one) improving the level of your treatment.
  • No more repeats: You will no longer have to brief your physician on your medical history every time you go for an appointment.
  • Fuel to Teamwork: Using a cloud for maintaining health records enhances your patient care.

Both EMR and EHR provide significant advantages as compared to traditional paper charts. Let’s have a look at some of these patients of these tools for patients and healthcare providers:

Advantages for Patients

For patients, an EHR/EMR software can have the following benefits: 

  • Increased Efficiency: EMR and EHR are automated tools because healthcare organizations can significantly increase their efficiency as the tasks will be completed with speed and optimum accuracy. 
  • Faster Access to Information: Healthcare professionals can easily access real-time patient data from test results, and medications, to past diagnoses which are instantly and readily available, allowing for quicker and more informed decisions.
  • Enhanced Care Coordination: EHR software enables data sharing among various healthcare settings. So, your current healthcare professional can have a complete picture of your past treatment and diagnosis which helps in enhanced care coordination and effective results.
  • Better Patient Engagement: As patients can get access to their real-time data any time, the service is enhanced. It not only makes them seek effective healthcare services but also makes them aware of their health.

Advantages of EHR/EMR for Healthcare Providers

For healthcare providers, an EHR/EMR software has the following advantages: 

  • Increased Efficiency: Increased efficiency is one of the greatest benefits for healthcare providers as EMRs and EHRs streamline workflow by making all the patient data updated in real-time and readily accessible. 
  • Improved Quality of Care: Comprehensive medical history allows for better diagnosis and treatment planning, helping healthcare professionals achieve more success rates in the treatments. 
  • Improved Image and Prestige: As patient care increases, so does patient satisfaction. There will be more referrals from your current and past patients and therefore, improved image and prestige among people and the industry. 
  • Reduced Costs: As all the records are stored digitally, it saves healthcare providers a big money on storage space, printing, and paper-based materials. As cost is cut down significantly, there will be a generated revenue for the healthcare organizations. 
  • Enhanced Decision-Making: Comprehensive and detailed patient data along with charts and digital images makes it easier for healthcare professionals to make decisions both effectively and efficiently with speed fueling their expertise.

While there are some additional advantages specific to each system:
EMRs: Since they focus on a single practice, EMRs can offer a more in-depth view of a patient’s history within that specific context. This can be helpful for primary care physicians who see a patient regularly.
EHRs: Through EHR systems, there is better communication and collaboration among healthcare providers as the information can be shared among various systems and medical settings. It fosters effective patient care. 
Summing up, both EMR and EHR are two robust tools in the industry of healthcare which leverage the power of digital technology. Both tools fulfill various purposes like improved patient care, increased efficiency, decreased cost, and a more connected healthcare system.

What Should You Choose for Your Healthcare Business?

What should you choose for your Healthcare Business?

While EHR and EMR both are powerful tools, choosing one of them can be a difficult thing. So, when it comes to which tool will be the best for your healthcare business, you should evaluate your requirements, preferences and the future vision of your organization to make sure that you invest in the right tool for the long term. 
We have mentioned below some points to help you in this case –

Choose an EMR if:

  • You have one site in which you have a limited closed referral base of patients who rarely visit specialists out of your practice.
  • You are encountered with financial limitations that make it difficult for you to afford a comprehensive EHR system.
  • You hardly identify, manage, and optimize work processes within your practice.
  • It is not a big issue for patients to share and communicate with another healthcare provider.
  • Other stakeholders such as other healthcare providers are not greatly affected by data sharing and interoperability.
  • EMRs offer a good starting point for digital record-keeping, with benefits like:
  • Improved organization and access to patient data within your practice.
  • Reduced errors and improved efficiency in managing patient charts.
  • Enhanced communication and collaboration among your staff.

However, EMRs have limitations such as:

  • Limited patient health information, only capturing data generated within your practice.
  • Difficulty coordinating care with specialists or hospitals that use different systems.
  • Potentially hindering patient involvement in managing their health data.

Choose an EHR if:

  • You own a bigger practice or a clinic where people with possible referral to different specialists or hospitals may visit.
  • You value integrated care and wish to receive continuity of data with other practitioners.
  • You want to give the patients the ability to access their own health records.
  • You’re looking for a system that will protect your practice into the future and fit in the context of the modern healthcare system.

The significant features offered by EHR are listed below:

  • A complete picture of a patient’s health across different healthcare settings.
  • Improved communication and collaboration among authorized providers involved in a patient’s care.
  • Enhanced patient engagement through potential access to their health information.
  • This software can also be utilized to study public health, initiatives and medical studies. (de-identified data).
  • While EHRs require a larger initial investment, they offer significant long-term advantages for:
  • Providing high-quality, coordinated care to your patients.
  • EHR is the best tool to streamline the workflow and efficiency of your practice. 
  • Complying with potential future regulations on data sharing and interoperability.


Ultimately, what suits the best to your organization and practice depends on the needs of your organization, size of your practice, the demographic of your patients, and your strategy regarding the future growth of your healthcare business. It is also good to seek advice from an expert healthcare IT services company who can help you identify the right software.
In conclusion, it can be safely stated that there is no single ‘best’ solution and it is dependent on the requirements of a particular use case. 
Make the optimum use of these two amazing tools to enhance the overall performance of your healthcare organization and practice with Ailoitte
Know how Ailoitte can help in choosing & building the Best EMR/EHR System for Your Healthcare Business? Contact us today!


What are the differences between EMR and EHR?

EMR is like a digital file for one doctor’s office, while EHR lets doctors easily share information with others. EMR focuses on medical history, and EHR gives a complete picture of a patient’s overall health.

Which is best EHR or EMR?

Medical software is crucial for modern healthcare. It replaces messy paper records and simplifies tasks like handling patient information and medical claims. Both EMR and EHR are good options, and your choice depends on your organization’s needs.

What is EMR software development?

EMR software development is the creation of digital tools for patients and healthcare workers to access medical information. It includes features like electronic communication and record-keeping to enhance communication between healthcare providers and patients.

Can EMR and EHR be used interchangeably?

People often use the terms EMR and EHR interchangeably, but there’s a significant difference. EMRs were initially focused on medical data for diagnosis and treatment, while EHRs cover a broader spectrum of health information from various providers, making them more advanced.

Do hospitals utilize EMRs or EHRs?

Often, both. Hospitals use EHRs to share patient data among multiple physicians. They also use EMRs, managed by a single provider.

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