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Distinguishing Between EHR & EMR: A Layman’s Guide

Distinguishing Between EHR & EMR: A Layman’s Guide

 

“To be successful at any enterprising venture, you have to know your audience.” This expression could not have been any truer, especially in-case of medical practices as each patient has their own unique condition that has to have a unique treatment. And for a medical practice to manually keep track of every single patient’s condition among the hundreds of whom they treat on a daily basis, there is a definite need for an effective management information system in place. Luckily, there are two softwares that are made specifically for that purpose and specifically in the medical industry. These softwares are known as Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Electronic Health Record (EHR).

 

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is intended to collect and contain the medical data of a patient, confined within a single medical facility. The application of this software is solely to monitor the health, schedule the treatments and manage the data of the patient who is affiliated to that particular medical practice. The EMR, being the data confined to a particular practice, is hard to share with any other medical institution or practitioner. While the Electronic Health Record (EHR) is intended to collect the entire medical history of an individual regardless of an affiliation with a particular institution or practice. The same data can be shared with other medical practices and institutions as well.

 

Although the EHR and EMR have a lot of the same parallels, they have their own utility as both systems are intended for a particular kind of medical practice. With that said, let us compare both systems side by side to clarify the functionality of both tools:

 

TABLE # 1

EHR

EMR

Collects all of the medical history and health records of a patient that were ever recorded by any medical institution or practice.Only collects the medical history and health records of a patient that are particular to a single medical practice.
Can easily be shared with any medical institution or practice for reference due to being universally accessible in nature.Can be shared with other medical practices or institutions, however, the process might be complicated since the data is intended only for a particular practice and is coded as such.
Compliant with the CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. This implies that the data from this system can qualify for Medicare or Medicaid Reimbursement.Non-compliant with the CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. This implies that the data from this system cannot qualify for Medicare or Medicaid Reimbursement.

 

In terms of deciding which system is better to manage the data of medical health practice, that really depends on the needs of a particular healthcare practice. However, in order to avoid the errors and other kinds of discrepancy, it is important to have a solid medical billing company on the back end of the system. The medical practices have the option of managing the data themselves, it is wise to hire a medical billing service provider with the dedicated expertise in the field of data management to ensure maximum smoothness of operations within a healthcare practice. 

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