Throughout much of the healthcare industry, the terms EMR and EHR are still used interchangeably. At Power Your Practice, we think that’s a problem.
The differences between electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs) are immense and significant. To elucidate their disparities, explain why EHRs make it easier to attest for Meaningful Use, and illuminate how they can improve patient management and outcomes, we’re parsing out the evolution of digital records in the “End of EMR” article series.
There’s a strong, unexpected parallel between the changing means used to commercially deliver music and the changing technology of health IT. Read on to gain increased insight into why EMRs are going the way of compact discs.
Records, Discs and Clouds
Like the paper chart, the album was an early delivery mechanism for information. It was great for listening to music in one place but it could easily be broken or scratched, making it difficult to transport and share. Finding the exact song you wanted was somewhat challenging. If you wanted to listen to your music somewhere else, you had to delicately load your albums into a crate or bag, lug them around and protect them.
Compact discs provided a compressed version of the record that was easier to transport, gave greater access to specific files and delivered a clearer sound. As with an EMR, transporting data was still challenging, but the carrying case wasn’t as large. Music could be better protected and transported, and you could make copies to share with friends, but those CDs still had to be delivered manually.
With the advent of digital music, the way we store, transport, share and enjoy our music changed forever. Services like iTunes warehouse your music in the cloud, much like an EHR does with health records, giving you nearly unlimited storage and access to any and all of your content anywhere you are.
You can listen to your favorite artists on your computer, phone, tablet and/or TV. Cloud-based storage protects your music files from physical damage, makes them easily transportable and gives you greater access to enjoy and share them.
Utilizing EHRs to share information and collaborate in real time provides a complete picture of a patient’s health, instead of forcing you to manually pass pieces back and forth between the care team.
Still unconvinced of the advantages of an electronic health record? Come back next week, when we’ll provide you with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s definitions of EMR and EHR to highlight the differing capabilities of the two technologies.
Can’t wait seven days? Download the End of EMR whitepaper, which details “Why Meaningful Use & Continuity of Care Depend on Electronic Health Records,” today.Tweet