One question that keeps coming up when discussing Cerner is whether to class it as an EMR or an EHR. As even many in the field use the terms interchangeably, this can be challenging to do. However anyone wanting a career using Cerner systems will want to use the term correctly. So is Cerner an EMR or an EHR?
The Difference Between an EMR and an EHR
The acronyms themselves don’t really help tell the two options apart. An Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and an Electronic Health Record (EHR) both sound very similar, and there’s no clear differentiation between the two. Having EPR (Electronic Patient Records) systems also in the conversation certainly doesn’t help, as that last acronym is used interchangeably for either of the other two.
You might think of EPR as the overall category, then; even while treating EHR and EMR as separate, they’re both types of EPR.
One of the classic comparisons for an EMR is a patient chart, but digital; it’s usually intended to hold one organisation’s records for a patient’s medical history. By contrast, an EHR is intended to hold a longer-term, holistic view of patient health. These are accessible where needed to continue treatment.
EHR systems are therefore taking over the market, especially within the NHS.
One of the reasons Cerner gets this question asked so much is because it incorporates features traditionally associated with both systems to create something more effective than the competition. It does, however, function well as an EHR, and it’s suitable for all EPR purposes.
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