Definition Thursday: EHR and EMR Differences


Electronic Health Record (EHR):

Electronic Health Records are computerized repository of information regarding the health of an individual. EHR is also a generic term for all electronic patient care systems. EHR’s imply a level of interoperability beyond the capability of an EMR (Electronic Medical Record), but are similar in terms of the information stored and the purpose for the system.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR): 

Electronic Medical Records are a provider-based medical record that includes all health documentation for one person covering all services provided within one enterprise. EMR software is owned and managed by the hospital or clinic that provides the patient care. It contains all the medical information of a patient.

Whats the difference between EHR and EMR?

The terms EHR and EMR are often used casually in interchangeable fashion, however, this is technically incorrect. Based on these definitions of EMR and EHR, the main difference between them is that EHR provides a more inclusive and thorough view of a patient’s health history. It does this by integrating information from all electronic health systems, which is known as EHR interoperability. An EHR software record, compared to an EMR one, will contain a complete summary of medical and health reports from various sources. It can contain lab reports, clinical results, referrals, and physician notes.


Finding the appropriate electronic medical record (EMR) software for your practice can be a daunting task. There are literally hundreds of choices available and many factors to consider. The quality and work flow of your practice depend on your making the right selection, as does your ability to collect payments from the U.S. government. To make matters worse, most information sources out there utilize a myriad of abbreviations and acronyms further complicating the process and causing frustration. To help minimize this, each Thursday Blog will publish a relevant abbreviation or acronym you will come across during your EMR software search!

Start your EMR search with MRCbase, our EMR software directory.