EMR versus EHR Rant

Posted on March 22, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a little while, you might have noticed that I’m really struggling with whether I should use the term EMR or EHR. You can read about the difference between EMR and EHR on the wiki.

The problem I have is that for all practical purposes, EMR and EHR are being used synonymously. Yes, if we get to the nitty gritty there is a difference. However, if a doctor says they use an EMR or EHR in their office they’d mean the exact same thing. If I say I’m helping someone select an EMR or EHR in their office it would mean the same thing.

Basically, every EMR software could be called an EHR software. It’s really just branding. My problem is that I prefer the term EMR. It’s what I first used (thus the name of the website) and it’s what I used exclusively on this website for a couple years.

Now it’s en vogue to use the term EHR. I’m not very fond of the term EHR, but I almost feel like I have to use it since it’s the term people are starting to use more and more.

What kills me even more is that I want to be at the top of Google for EHR and EMR. However, Google doesn’t have common sense to realize that they’re essentially the same thing and should be ranked in similar ways. So, I walk this balance of using both terms and mastering neither of them on Google.

Since I’m on Google, I also want to openly tell Google to stop messing around with my Google Rank for the term EMR. Google keeps bouncing this website from the first page to the second page. Obviously the first page sends a lot more traffic this way and so you can imagine which I prefer. More importantly, Google should realize that this website is easily in the top 10 websites talking about EMR. If someone can show me 10 websites about EMR that are better than mine, then I’ll take it back. Until then, Google please place EMR and HIPAA permanently on the first page of results for the term EMR. Thanks!