What is EMR?

Is it different than EHR? Do I need it? Is it overkill for my practice? How do I know when I need it? Are they complicated? How long until insurance companies require I use an EMR? Can I afford it? Can I afford not to have one? Will it integrate with my billing and practice management software? These are a sampling of the questions most offices are asking themselves. EMR is one of the fastest growing trends in the healthcare market today and often comes with more questions than answers. Before selecting which EMR system is right for your office it is important to first make sure that you understand the industry.

EMR (Electronic Medical Records), EHR (Electronic Health Records), EPR (Electronic Patient Records), and Electronic Charts are the typical buzzwords that you will hear. They all are used relatively synonymously. EHR typically tries to be more patient centered while EMR is more physician centered. EMR though has become the most common way to refer to all such records. In the end their collective goal is to provide better patient care in less time and with less expense than by documenting with pen and paper or via transcription. You will likely see a myriad of other notes software purporting to be EMR packages. While these packages can have some limited benefits, they are typically not true EMR software. True EMR software should give the user a wide range of benefits: faster and more accurate notes, increased billing revenue through speed of coding, audit protection, and paperless ability. EMR does not have to be complicated or intimidating. Below we have included some links to help your research process.