Online Information through EHR and EMR

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EHR and EMR are information recording systems used by healthcare providers such as hospitals and clinics to accelerate efficiency in clinical practice.

The number of patients accommodated by every hospital is increasing by the day. Hospitals need to process information with the click of a button. The information must be mined in an instantaneous fashion, failing which could lead to an unproductive workflow that causes inconvenience to the patients as well as the doctors. In a scenario where there is an emergency and the doctor requires complete information about the patient’s previous records and treatments, one cannot afford to take time in looking through the bounty of medical information that has been stored by the hospital through the years. It is extremely impractical and inefficient. With the help of technology that is now the hero of work processes across every industry, retrieval and management of valuable patient information is feasible

The healthcare industry has completely transformed their style of retaining patient information. The transition from paper files to digital records experienced by hospitals, clinics, and other medical institutions holds several benefits that would facilitate the work process while providing a pleasant and high-quality healthcare experience to patients. A comprehensive electronic record filing platform demands a lot more than initial installation. It seeks complete interest and involvement of the clinical staff in terms of implementation. This is achieved through mandatory training. Two very popular terms taking the world of digital information by storm are EMR (Electronic Medical Records) and EHR (Electronic Health Records).

EMR and EHR – are they same? Is there a difference?

Quite often, EMR and EHR are used interchangeably. In fact, in some cases, they are mistaken to be one and the same thing, which is incorrect. Although the difference in the two names is just one word, that one word makes all the difference. When studied carefully, they make two different entities associated with the same mission.  This very confusion has been propagated by media, government and medical consultants themselves. Electronic medical records are digital charts that contain records pertaining to medical and treatment history of the patients. Maintaining crucial medical information digitally instead on paper lets healthcare providers track all the consolidated data stored over time. Patients can be easily filtered for their checkups and preventive screenings. They can be sent reminders well ahead of time to stay on schedule. One disadvantage of EMR is the inability of information being transferred or shared with specialists or interested parties. It can only be done by obtaining specific access individually or printing out information which again takes us back to square one.

Electronic Health Records, as the name suggests, saves overall health information. They go beyond the restrictions of clinical information. They collect information from patients and compile it for future reference. They comprise of the details you would find on a paper chart but that does not end there. Immunization and vaccination dates, insurance-related data, progress notes, allergies, lab results and information from devices used for general wellness are included. They are different from EMR as they can be shared to authorized healthcare providers and organizations; assisting them in taking informed decisions and bettering their quality of care. However, sharing critical patient information needs to be carefully monitored to avoid misuse of personal data. The records are safeguarded by the date protection legislation.  

EMR and EHR: The better choice:

Both systems are efficient recording applications but EHR takes home the medal as of their ability to collect vast information that is not restricted to medical treatment and patient charts. It aids in bettering patient care and safety. Institutions that have put together a complete EHR system in place are able to encourage patient participation in coordinated care. EHR can slash prices while maintaining an excellent quality of care and efficiency. The share feature can come in handy in life-threatening situations where patient information can be shared to the emergency unit without delay. In addition, the clinical guidelines followed in EHR promote safe practice.

Benefits of electronic records:

Electronic records like EMR and EHR can be a real game changer in engaging with patients and their families in addition to respecting and safeguarding the privacy of a patient’s health information.

  • Medical errors can be reduced significantly by the fast and precise filing of patient records.
  • Patient charts are more comprehensive, clear and legible. In the case of paper records, legibility can act as a hindrance.
  • Access to information is lot more reliable in electronic records.
  • Electronic records hold complete information of a patient. This improves the chances of accuracy in diagnosis.
  • They are cost effective. A substantial investment has to be made but the returns are worth every penny.

Electronic records encourage convenience, accuracy and better comprehension of a patient’s health. Catering to the needs of a patient can be demanding; having reliable information will help physicians and other consultants treat patients with more precision. Like every other technology, there are inconveniences and glitches that could pose an occasional problem but on looking at the wider scope of work, EMR and EHR are the future of medical data compiling. In fact, the growth of EHR users is increasing rapidly, such that in a couple of years, every single healthcare facility would make use of these electronic records. 

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