An electronic medical record (EMR) system is a digital version of all the information you would find typically in the paper chart of a provider including medical histories, diagnoses, medications, allergies, immunization dates, lab results & doctor’s notes. EMR system is an online medical record of the standard medical & clinical data from a provider’s office, usually used by providers for diagnosis & treatment. For your information, accurate & comprehensive documentation of a patient’s medical histories, tests, diagnosis & treatments in EMR systems ensures the appropriate care through the provider’s clinic.

EMR system is more than just a paper records’ replacement. It allows communication & coordination effectively among healthcare a team’s members for optimal patient care. The natural evolution started in the 60s when we started to see ‘problem-oriented’ medical records instead of just the diagnosis & treatment provided by a doctor. It was the first time that 3rd party facilities were able to verify the diagnosis independently.

In the computer era, many earlier computer apps were in use at hospitals and some other places. Then, computer gained traction in smaller clinics & facilities and computers were gaining traction with the general public at the same time.

All healthcare & public providers were required to demonstrate ‘meaningful use’ of EMR systems. ‘Meaningful use’ would achieve these:

  • Maintain security & privacy of patient’s health info
  • Improve public health & care coordination
  • Engage patients & families
  • Improve efficiency, safety & quality, and also reduce health disparities

Even though patient’s medical records are more accessible & comprehensive than ever before, refinements & system upgrades are enhancing clinic workflow & interactions between doctor and patient continually.

What Is the Difference between an EMR System & an HER System?

As it is stated before, EMR systems contain comprehensive & records of the patient’s health history with a provider. On the other side, electronic health record (EHR) systems contain all of this & it can be shared amongst authorized clinics, health organizations, and providers. Besides that, an EHR system also includes a comprehensive patient’s health history that can be shared amongst all providers in order to help coordinate care for patients. Both EMR & EHR systems are beneficial tools for clinics.

The Benefits of EMR Systems for Patients

  • Fewer mistakes on medical records
  • Faster assessment & care from medical professionals
  • Improved diagnosis of health, treatment & overall care quality
  • Data & results are always tracked
  • Enhanced patient data’s privacy& security
  • Identify patients who are due for screenings & preventive visits
  • Improved patient care and reduction in patient mistakes
  • Enable evidence-based decisions
  • Follow-up information after a visit
  • Access to patient’s records and keep up with improved lifestyle changes

The Advantages of EMR Systems for Clinics

  • Track electronic messages to labs, hospitals, staff, etc.
  • Provide built-in safeguards against prescribing treatments that will result in adverse events
  • Enhance researches & monitor improvements in clinical quality
  • Improve coding & documentation
  • Provide clinical reminders and alerts
  • Gather & analyze patient data enabling outreach to discreet populations
  • Customizable & scalable electronic records

In conclusion, EMR systems offer different functionality & user interfaces and also become the hub for all clinical activities in the office.