Understanding Clinical Information Management – Essential differences among HIS, PHR, EMR & EHR

When it comes to a few certain technical terms in the field of healthcare, there seems to be a few misconceptions and confusions. With the onset of digital technology, a number of new technologies and terms have cropped up in healthcare IT further adding to the misconceptions. Today, a lot of people confuse between an HIS, PHR, EMR and EHR. For most of us, these invariably mean more or less the same thing. However, they are not. These terms are often misinterpreted and considered interchangeable. There are subtle differences among them and these subtleties are what define their role in healthcare delivery.

This article is all about bringing to light the differences among the three distinct concepts and helping you leverage the potential of each for your Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy wellness centers. Read on.

Personal Health Record(PHR)

PHR is a tool to collect, track and share past and current information about your health or the health of someone in your care. Your PHR may save you the money and inconvenience of repeating routine medical tests and give medical care providers more insight into your personal health. It can further help you become responsible for making decisions about your health.

However, please be aware that medical records(EHR & EMR) and your personal health record (PHR) are not the same thing. Medical records contain information about your health compiled and maintained by your healthcare providers. A PHR is information about your health compiled and maintained by you. You can read more about PHRs here.

Hospital Information System(HIS)

On the other hand, an HIS stands for Hospital Information System! This is a more clearly understood concept when compared to EHRs, EMRs & PHRs and revolves basically around hospital management and optimized administration. Hospital Information Systems involve computers and applications for the management of a clinic, nursing home or a hospital’s everyday operations. Modern systems allow for automation of several redundant tasks and there are several providers of this platform. Some of the functionalities of a hospital information system include the following:

  • Patient registration and scheduling of appointments
  • Billing
  • Manage materials and supply-chain with 3rd party vendors and dispensaries
  • Laboratory, cardiology and radiology operations
  • Handle staffing and HR functions
  • Hospital CRM functions such as send automated emails on appointments, newsletters and more

Electronic Medical Record(EMR)

EMR stands for Electronic Medical Record. An EMR is the digital version of the paper charts related to health you find in clinics and doctors’ offices. An Electronic Medical Record contains details on the information collected by doctors and practicing physicians during your session of diagnosis and is used by them to deliver better healthcare services.

EMRs are designed to help the healthcare organization improve their internal record management and provide easy access them during ongoing care and repeat patient visits. EMR data is not inter-operable with EMR of the same person from other applications and so is not very helpful for the long term health management of the person

Electronic Health Record(EHR)

If you didn’t know, EHR stands for Electronic Health Record and is something that goes beyond an EMR. An EHR manages your health information following open standards (country specific and International) and hece the data from different EHR applications are inter-operable. EHRs can potentially contain lifelong details and information about a patient but differ from EMR in the fact that they contain reports from all clinicians or doctors involved in the patient’s healthcare.

EHRs allow not just one doctor or physician to use the information mentioned in the report for diagnosis purposes but anyone with who you intend to share the report or have access to your report. It is most effective when implemented as a centralized portal on the cloud (like the EHR.Network) that doctors and clinicians can have a comprehensive look at your medical data and get insights on earlier diagnosis, treatment agendas, scan reports and charts, side effects, blood pathogens and more. We have dedicated an entire blog post on EHRs and you can find the article here.

So, these were the basic differences among the four key terms you should know for your clinic or wellness resort. Interchanging technical terms can give rise to consequences and confusions and to stay clear of those, it’s better to know the basics. If you need any assistance in setting up an EHR in your hospital, clinic or wellness center, you can get in touch with us. You can also contact us to book a demo session of AyushEHR, the EHR solution for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy.