EMR As Electronic Version of Chart…Or is it EHR?

We’re back once again with our weekend roundup of a few interesting EMR and healthcare IT related tweets. Seems like the #hcsm chat was enjoying tweeting about some of the challenges of EMR and EHR:

Ryan Madanick, MD
EMR=elec versn of chart RT @MrPug94: T1 #hcsm There really isn’t a true provider-patient collaboration platform. #EMR is simply a database

I agree with the assertion. Although, the reason an EMR is just a database and not a true provider-patient collaboration platform is because there’s no exchange of data. That’s what’s missing most from today’s EMR software.

Then, I also saw this related tweet about EHR:

H. Jack West, MD
Also, w/#EMR, it has never been easier to produce so much boilerplated documentation that says so little. #hcsm

I know where this comment comes from, but as I said in previous posts. I think we’re ready to see a revolution in clinical documentation that kicks against the boiler plate documentation that’s been so dominate in legacy EHR software.

Plus, is anyone else still kind of annoyed that we’re still debating whether to use EMR or EHR?

Helen Phung
@ehrwatch @nestorarellano @WittRZ Used interchangeably. #EHR refers more often to a physician/patient facing record while #EMR is for docs.

Personally, I have one thing to say about the EMR or EHR debate: Who cares? Once you can use them interchangeably to communicate the same thing, it really doesn’t matter. I tell you now that it really doesn’t matter.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, 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, EXPO.health, 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.


  • John, I would agree that it does not matter if you say EMR or EHR. A few years ago, ‘experts’ made a big deal out of defining the two terms. And if you take classes, you are required to know the difference.

    But, really, my main criteria is convenience. When you type “EHR”, most software (Word) will auto-correct it to “HER”. If you don’t correct the error, the reader is confused. So, I use EMR. Word does not try to change the acronym.

  • I am the owner of a MT company. Some clients ask us about eprescribing and other facilities and more info on EHR.

    Is there any EHR (program/software/vendor) available where the Physician/Clinic/Hospital and the Transcription provider can continue to work together?

    Would like to get a clear picture of the process.

  • Is there any facility in any EHR (software/service) where the healthcare providers and their present transcription providers can continue to work together?

  • Hemant,
    Actually there’s quite a few MT companies that are offering their own EHR to address this problem. It’s going to be interesting to see how those software evolve. Many many other EHR vendors still provide capabilities for transcription. One that I know of is DoctorsPartner, but there are many more that could support transcription still.

    We’ve learned over time that some are fine with replacing transcription with an EHR, but many are not.

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