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What is EMR (Electronic Medical Records)

The terms emr, ehr, electronic medical records, and electronic health records, are often used interchangeably, leaving many medical professionals left wondering, "What is EMR?" The different terms do often mean distinct things. Typically, when referring to "electronic medical records", or "EMR", one is referring to a medical record created by a practice in the course of examination and treatment of a patient. In contrast, an "electronic health record" or "EHR" is used to refer to a comprehensive or summary health record, often compiled from several different practices or physicians, that is used to share with the patient or with other health care organizations.

With recent US government legislation, medical practices are being encouraged to adopt EMR systems that allow them to manage their patient health information and to demonstrate "meaningful use" of those systems.