Digital record keeping is here to stay – and is evolving in leaps and bounds. The vast array of hardware and software available can be confusing to even those well versed with the current digital technology. In order to differentiate between the vast arrays of available technology, industries tend to create their own vernacular for them. While most outsiders will not understand these terms, even insiders find themselves in confusion – especially for terms that overlap each other in their meaning and function. One such set of terms are ‘EHR’ and ‘EMR’.

EMR stands for ‘Electronic Medical Records’ and EHR stands for ‘Electronic Health Records’. Confusing isn’t it? How were these terms set? Well, earlier, medical practitioners had to focus on just medical diagnosis and treatment. These observations and prescriptions were kept in paper form. With the transition to digital records, the term Electronic Medical Record was formed. Now with medical practice requirements evolving far beyond just simple diagnosis and treatment – and into the realm of overall health of the patient, digital record keeping has also evolved from mere prescriptions to more detailed observations and actions. These digital records have been termed as Medical Health Records. However, while the applications are similar, each has different capabilities.

As if confusing terms were not enough, medical industry insiders have to grapple with and understand the different software tools used today. Let us look at the example of two commonly used software tools – ‘MPM’ software and ‘EHR’ systems. While there is some overlap between the work done on the two, they are very different from each other and record information that helps in different areas of healthcare.

Medical Practice Management Software

Healthcare facilities use MPM software to record their daily work such as patient appointments, insurance verification, billing and other clerical tasks. In addition, MPM software is also used for documentation of medical diagnosis and procedure codes. While, MPM software is used for both clerical and medical documentation work, it is suited more for clerical record keeping.

Electronic Health Record Systems

Designed to collect all medical information from all healthcare sources, including physicians, hospitals, and the patient; an EHR system is one that stores patient information covering aspects such as history, diagnosis, chart notes, test results, and any other information that is useful throughout the clinical life cycle of patient treatment.

Difference between EHR and MPM

The biggest difference between MPM and EHR is in their usage. While MPM has more to do with the healthcare facility management records; EHR is used for keeping records of individual patient treatment.

MPM data is specific to the facility and does not need to be shared, where as EHR data is shared between different physicians and agencies that deal with the patient.

Similar to the EHR is the EMR – however, the latter is practice centric and not as exhaustive with patient data as the EHR.  This is the reason why MPM is often linked to EMR software.

Why should I digitize my records?

Other than the very obvious benefits of safety and ease of retrieval, you are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid incentives only if you use certified EHR software. Keeping your facility and patient records in digital form also reduces the time spent by the staff on record keeping. Another benefit of digitizing your records is better engagement with your patients through the patient portal.

Outsourcing your practice management to a certified and recognized service provider is another way of utilizing your staff towards patient care more than record keeping. At MedConverge, our comprehensive practice management solutions ensure that your records are up to date and error free – ensuring that you get reimbursed in full for your services. For further information on how we can work together, write to us at [email protected].


  1. EHR vs. EMR: Differences Between Electronic Health Records Software. (2018). Retrieved December 27, 2018, from www.advancedmd.com: https://www.advancedmd.com/learn/ehr-vs-emr-differences-electronic-health-records-software/
  2. EMR and Medical Practice Management Software. (2018). Retrieved December 27, 2018, from www.medicalrecords.com: https://www.medicalrecords.com/guide-to-medical-practice-management-software
  3. Rezabek, J. (2018, November 26). Practice Management or EHR Software: What Does Your Optical Practice Need? Retrieved December 27, 2018, from www.blog.startyouruprise.com: http://blog.startyouruprise.com/practice-management-or-ehr-software-what-does-your-optical-practice-need
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