The two terms, Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Electronic Health Record (EHR), are used interchangeably by many stakeholders. However, IT leaders in healthcare should realize that these terms define two different ideas. A clear understanding of the fundamental differences between the two concepts will equip IT leaders with the tools necessary to face the implementation challenges of EMR and, in the near future, EHR.

EMR Is Different from EHR

EMR is a comprehensive electronic record of a patient's health-related information, including pathological, radiological, and pharmaceutical information that is shared and managed by healthcare practitioners via a secure network within a Care Delivery Organization (CDO).

EHR is an environment that connects a subset of EMRs from different CDOs within a community, state, or region via a secure and nationally standardized network. The network allows authorized clinicians and healthcare staff access to patients' health-related information across more than one healthcare organization.