Electronic Health Record (EHR)
An electronic health record (EHR) or electronic medical record (EMR), is an official health record for an individual that is shared among multiple facilities and agencies. Digitized health information systems are expected to improve efficiency and quality of care and, ultimately, reduce costs. These records can be shared across different health care settings. Records are shared through network-connected, enterprise-wide information systems or other information networks and exchanges. EHRs may include a range of data, including demographics, medical history, medication and allergies, immunization status, laboratory test results, radiology images, vital signs, personal statistics like age and weight, and billing information.
EHR systems are designed to store data accurately and to capture the state of a patient across time. It eliminates the need to track down a patient’s previous paper medical records and assists in ensuring data is accurate and legible. It can reduce risk of data replication as there is only one modifiable file, which means the file is more likely up to date, and decreases risk of lost paperwork. Due to the digital information being searchable and in a single file, EMR’s are more effective when extracting medical data for the examination of possible trends and long term changes in a patient. Population-based studies of medical records may also be facilitated by the widespread adoption of EHR’s and EMR’s.