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Understanding Electronic Medical Record vs Electronic Health Record

by GMDP August 20 2021

The push for digitized medical transactions is more than just hopping on the trend of technology advancement.

More healthcare providers have switched from paper files to a modern electronic system. Gone are the days when a healthcare staff needed to manually collect, gather and organize bulks of patient records. Not only is this method time-consuming but it is a costly expense as well. 

Whenever a staff needs to edit information, he has to rewrite everything again to maintain clarity and readability. Storage, printers, photocopying machines, and other office supplies can have a significant impact on operating expenses. 

Shifting from paper records

Human as we are, labor-intensive processes may produce more inefficiencies.

Jeopardizing a patient’s health because of duplication or delay in supplying a concrete medical record is one of, if not the number one error a healthcare provider should avoid. Delays in manual medical processes not only affect the physician-patient communication but also the billing processes, coding, provision of prescriptions, and reimbursements. 

The fact that functions of paper records are limited remains.

Paper records are fragile. Prone to stains and tears in the long run. Not to mention the possibility of destruction due to natural calamities like floods, fires, earthquakes, and typhoons. Surely, natural calamities do not happen every day but certainly, those are unavoidable. If you don’t have a copy of those documents, vital information can be gone in a blink of an eye. 

What is an electronic medical record?

Apart from obvious physical differences, electronic medical record or EMR is a better choice than manual paper records and we are going to break down the reasons why.

But first, what exactly is an electronic medical record or commonly referred to as, EMR?

Electronic medical records are practically the digital version of paper records. It contains the general and vital information of a patient. It has but is not limited to, patient’s history, prescriptions, medications, diagnoses, immunizations, and clinical notes. This information helps in making critical medical decisions for both patients and physicians. 

Electronic medical records in the Philippines and in general, help in assisting create a more organized and coordinated flow of healthcare processes that will eventually improve the quality of patient care. With the help of this system, both patients and physicians will be quickly and easily informed of the necessary medical data they may need anytime and anywhere. 

What is an electronic health record?

EMR systems have proved that digital innovation is a necessity in the healthcare industry. These systems provide society with numerous ways of improving healthcare.

Thankfully, there is another digital innovation that also enhances healthcare processes. And that is electronic health record or better known as EHR. 

Electronic health records can simply be explained as the general collection of a patient’s medical information. The main reason why EHRs are better stored in an online platform is that multiple healthcare providers are viewing and examining a certain patient’s medical information. It contains but is not limited to a patient’s demographic data, complete medical history, and records of hospitalization. 

EHR systems implement faster physician diagnoses. To further improve the communication between physicians and patients, electronic health records help patients view their healthcare history and can quickly work on what needs to be improved holistically. This makes the patient feel more secure because it makes them part of the whole process. This promotes awareness of their medical condition.

Less redundancy is also a benefit needed for accurate reading of patient’s healthcare records. To automatically share medical data to different healthcare facilities regardless of location is also one of the top benefits of having an EHR system.

Reducing medical errors especially in diagnoses is the priority of all healthcare providers. An electronic health record helps in avoiding these errors caused by unclear and inaccurate transcriptions which is usually common in paper and pen set-ups. 

Differences between electronic medical record (EMR) and electronic health record (EHR)

EMRs and EHRs are usually used interchangeably. However, even if the two systems have similarities, it’s important to note that each record has different functions and unique limitations. 

One significant difference is that an electronic medical record, as mentioned before, is a digital chart used by physicians as a basis for a patient's medical records. It aids physicians to properly diagnose and treat their patients.

Electronic health records, on the other hand, are more detailed and shareable information and are both used by patients and various healthcare facilities. EMRs contain the medical data of the patient and are primarily used for treatments and diagnosis, while EHRs contain vital and more detailed information that can be used by different physicians and/or multiple healthcare facilities. 

Benefits of EMR and EHR

The Healthcare industry under normal circumstances started using modern technology, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical software systems are further utilized to improve patient care. Two of the best examples of this software are electronic medical records and Electronic Health records. 

How can medical software such as EMR and EHR help both physicians and patients?

  1. They transform a healthcare facility from a purely paper-based system to a more advanced technology system.

This technological innovation will help in the important decision-making of every physician since it gives them easier access to the patient's record and a quicker data retrieval. Enhanced clinical decision-making can lessen human errors that can be from messy penmanship, photocopying, and faxing. As shallow as these errors may seem, sometimes these factors are considered in life-and-death situations. 

  1. They streamline medical processes that will result in faster transactions.

No more hours of waiting and lining up for patients for billing, insurance claims, and buying prescription medicines. By automating these processes, payments and reimbursements are more accurate and easier to acquire. This benefits both physicians and patients. With just a few clicks, patients can now have access to the complete details of their billing statements and will allow them to pay their bills hassle-free anytime they may prefer. 

  1. They have better reminder systems.

The danger of not answering phone calls that are supposed to remind patients of their important appointments may be reduced as well because. In this digital innovation, patients may have notifications or reminders on their phones automatically of their check-ups and/or health screenings. 

  1. They reduce record and organizing errors.

Now more than ever, healthcare facilities and physicians need this innovative medical system. A well-planned and established electronic medical record and electronic health record system will reduce the common errors and flaws of a manual paper setting. EMRs and EHRs can help healthcare providers increase their revenue while not having to spend extra resources on tools needed in a traditional setting to function. 

Especially because the cases of COVID-19 infections are rising in the country, electronic medical records and Electronic Health Records in the Philippines are very much worth the investment.

Just like any other investment, acquiring EMR and EHR is a risk. We understand that physicians and healthcare providers need some time to understand and to choose which provider will help their healthcare facility or personal practice grow and flourish.

Good thing is that not only providers can benefit from this system but patients as well.

Interested in trying the power and convenience of going online to manage your medical practice? Sign-up with the Global MD Plus EMR and EHR system today.


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