Getting Started with an EMR by EMR Edge

A nice little emr website I found has some ideas on getting started with an EMR. I thought I would take a few pieces of their ideas and add my own comments. You’ll soon find out that I found the website very pretty, but the content wasn’t that good. Disclaimer: I’m not trying to be denegrating(however you spell that word), but I do want to point out some of the sites that offer an “interesting” set of information.

If you need to read the following paragraph then you aren’t ready to be getting close to an EMR. Don’t plan on implementing an EMR within the next year. Do take the next year to learn about EMR and what it really means. This paragraph is like descibing medicine as curing people. Does that mean I’m ready to be a doctor? I think not!

Let’s start with the basics. An electronic medical record, which is also known as an EMR, is a computer based system that in theory allows one to practice medicine more efficiently, while at the same time making less mistakes. When searching for an EMR, you can choose from a range of products. You may choose to go with strictly an imaging software, or a notes system. Many of these basic packages are referred to as EMR Light systems. This means they do not have the connectivity or functionality that a full featured EMR has. That brings us to what is called an EHR or electronic health record. The term EHR will be used increasingly in the future as more of these EMR products are able to keep up on the technology side of things. An EHR is a fully functional type of EMR that includes options for interconnectivity outside of a single practice. For instance, an EHR would be able to draw information on a patient between unaffiliated practices or hospitals with different EMR products. In contrast, an EMR Light might not even have internet connectivity.

Has anyone ever heard the term EMR light? I don’t think that’s a term that anyone really uses.

Ideally, you want [in an EMR]:
* An EMR that can expand with your practice size
* An EMR that can expand functionality capabilities
* An EMR that has a great support team
* An EMR that is safe and secure
* An EMR that produces results
* An EMR that fits your budget
* An EMR company that has a lot invested (and re-invested) into research and development
* An EMR company that will stay up on the latest technological advances
* An EMR company that won’t go bankrupt in 2 years

Now how are you going to find this in a company? How do you measure these? Where’s my crystal ball? These are good things to consider, but I think the list isn’t a very practical list for those interested on implementing an EMR. Not to mention a list that newbie EMR users can really use.

This post seems rather cynical. I really am not cynical. EMR is the way to go, but there should be a method to anyone’s madness.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.