EHR / EMR software is a computer system that helps healthcare providers manage patient medical records and automate clinical workflows. EHR systems allow providers to:
- Create customizable templates for taking notes during patient encounters
- Generate reports on practice efficiency and compliance with government programs
- Communicate with patients and staff
- See patients remotely with telemedicine sessions and prescribe medications electronically
- Sync information with practice management and billing systems
While the terms EHR (electronic health records) and EMR (electronic medical records) are often used interchangeably, they have slightly different meanings. The primary difference is that EHR puts forth the notion of interoperability, or interfacing with other medical systems to create a comprehensive view of a patient’s clinical information. To learn more about the difference, check out our article, EHR vs. EMR
Electronic medical records represent a huge improvement over the paper-based methods of the past, and open the door to a new world of functionality for healthcare providers. As opposed to first generation EHRs that simply digitized and stored medical records, modern EHR systems act as virtual assistants that organize and prioritize practice workflow. As EHR technology continues to evolve, providers will be able to connect with patients in more meaningful ways and continuously provide better care.