EMR Does Not Equal EHR

Although many journalists or people in the medical community may mistakenly swap the terms EMR or electronic medical records and EHR(electronic health records), they are actually two distinct entities.

EMR or electronic medical record is a legal recording of patient-healthcare provider encounters. It includes not only patient physical findings, and laboratory data but also clinical decisions including future tests, prescriptions and treatments. Covering both the ambulatory, inpatient and outpatient milieu, it is the basis by which health care of the individual can be managed and monitored by the CDO (care delivery organization.) The record is owned by the healthcare provider and is not interactive with the patient. It is also limited to the encounters of a particular CDO.

EHR or electronic health record is actually a summary or compilation of the patient’s care -CCR (continuity of care record) or CCD (continuity of care document). The patient owns this. As such, the individual may not only access the record, but also insert his/her own input. The EHR contains data from several providers or facilities, which can be, located anywhere. Another way to look at this is that the EMR is the patient’s chart from a particular physician/healthcare provider. The EHR is the stack of all the charts from everywhere the patient has been- packaged neatly in one electronic program.

The immediate advantage is clear. Regardless of where a patient received treatment (which may be quite diverse geographically), the individual can access these records to convey to future providers of their care. ¨This system will certainly make for a more efficient arrangement once it is established.

Reprinted by permission of copywriter Barbara Hales. For more discussions on health care reform, subscribe to The Medical Strategist newsletter at: http://www.TheWriteTreatment.com

About Barbara Hales: Barbara Hales is a copywriter for the medical and health fields. With her knowledge of medicine, Barbara understands the issues and challenges in health reform that face you. For more information or help with your healthcare marketing, contact her at (516) 647-3002 or visit her website at http://www.TheWriteTreatment.com, where you can sign up for a free newsletter – The Medical Strategist.

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