Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are digital versions of the paper charts. They contain information collected by and for the clinicians in an office, clinic, or hospital. Contrary to paper records, EMRs provide physicians with the ability to track data, identify patients for preventive visits and screenings, monitor patients, and improve care quality.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are more robust than EMRs as they contain information from all the clinicians involved in a patient’s care. EHRs allow for the exchange of information with a variety of care providers, including specialists, labs, medical clinics, and other providers. And the data within an EHR follows each individual patient no matter their place in the care spectrum wherever and whenever they need care.
Unlike EHRs, information within EMRs is not electronically shareable. EHRs, however, can collect a patient’s complete digital record, including medical history, vital signs, progress notes, diagnoses, medications, immunizations, allergies, lab data, and imaging reports. EHRs also contain other relevant information, including insurance information, demographic data, and data imported from personal wellness devices.
“EHR” and “EMR” are commonly used terms, but “EHR (electronic health records)” is referenced more frequently by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (ONC) prefers the term “EHR.” The ONC uses the terms “EHR” and “electronic health records” exclusively, saying that the word “health” is more encompassing than the word “medical.”
Electronic health records are built to share information with and between care teams. EHR data is created, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff across more than one healthcare organization.
Because of this, the information contained within electronic health records moves with the patient no matter where the patient may be. An electronic health record, unlike an EMR, makes health information instantly accessible to authorized providers across practices and health organizations. EHRs represent the future of healthcare because they provide critical data that informs clinical decisions, helping coordinate care across the healthcare ecosystem.
Compared to paper records, a digital patient-record provides information management tools to help providers offer better care more efficiently while reacting to data in real-time. EHRs can provide clinical reminder alerts, enhance decision support, and analyze aggregate data for both care management and research.
Information within an EHR moves with the patient—to the specialist, hospital, nursing home, another state, or the country. EHRs are accessible by all people involved in the patient’s care, including the patient. Electronic health records also provide instant access to information and data generally in a paper chart, such as problem lists, ICD-10 codes, medication lists, test results. EHRs let providers receive lab results, radiology reports, and X-ray images electronically, in real-time, while ensuring tests are not duplicated. When paired with a communication solution like TigerConnect, care teams are notified of these updates as they are filed within the EHR.
Electronic health records also automate e-prescribing technology while providing a warning to providers about potential drug interactions. This helps during diagnosis, pointing to evidence-based guidelines when evaluating treatment plans.
The more interactive an EHR – especially when paired with clinical communication technology like TigerConnect – the more the system prompts the user for additional information. This interaction helps gather more data, enhance record completeness and improve care outcomes.
TigerConnect lets care teams communicate in real-time by centralizing patient data from the EHR and pushing information securely to mobile devices where it can be acted upon. TigerConnect’s EHR integration services provide detailed alerts about admissions, discharges, transfers, and care team management. Interactive messages are displayed to make it easy for staff to coordinate each phase of care. Providers receive alerts any time a patient is admitted, discharged, or transferred, and ensuring continuity of care using role-based shift assignments.
To learn more about TigerConnect and our EHR integration solutions, visit our website.
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