What is EHR?

What is EHR?

Electronic Health Records Help You:

  • Improve quality of care
  • Optimize productivity and efficiency
  • Exchange patient data
  • Improve charting and documentation
  • Increase revenue

Improve quality of care

When it comes to patient care, EHR allows your physicians to offer better quality treatment and more accurate diagnosis. Providing clinicians with accurate and up-to-date patient information naturally leads to an increase in the overall quality of care that can be delivered.

Additionally, providers are able to communicate and handle certain aspects of healthcare for their patients online. They can exchange messages, video chat and view medical results while alerts and reminders can be sent out automatically.

Physicians are also able to prescribe medications — often including controlled substances — electronically at any time from virtually anywhere. When prescribing medications, any potential drug-to-drug or drug-to-allergy interactions can be flagged depending on the patient’s current medication and/or medical history. Prescribing electronically helps to optimize patient safety by preventing dosage errors and ensuring patients are receiving the correct medicine. Here are some common EHR features that help to improve the overall quality of healthcare you can provide:

  • Patient Information
  • Telehealth
  • E-Prescribing
  • Real-Time Data
  • Medication History

Optimize productivity and efficiency

EHR can help improve your health organization in a variety of ways, partly by increasing your office’s daily traffic. An EHR is able to automatically coordinate patient visits with the proper exam room, equipment and physician at the correct time. Additionally, appointments can easily be scheduled online, either by the physician or the patient.

An EHR provides physicians with all the necessary patient information they need while allowing for that data to be updated in real time and be shared with other departments. With tools to manage scheduling and appointments, staff are able to place a higher level of focus on patients while increasing their overall revenue in the process. Common tools include:

  • Scheduling
  • Workflow Dashboard
  • Real-Time Data
  • Online Patient Check-in
  • Mobile EHR
  • Integration Capabilities
  • Configurable Templates

Exchange patient data

One of the main reasons EHR was tweaked from electronic medical records (EMR) was due to an EMR’s inability to share patient information, or a lack of interoperability. With an EHR, your health organization is able to update a patient’s chart throughout multiple departments as well as connect with different information systems or applications in a coordinated manner.

Interoperability allows health organizations to improve the level of care they can deliver by giving clinicians complete access, exchange and use of all electronically accessible health information. In addition to more accurate reporting and fewer errors, interoperability helps improve patient safety. Physicians are able to compare health data as well as recognize patterns and similarities between groups of patients to help provide more accurate treatment. The following features are offered by EHRs to offer this capability:

  • Population Health
  • Health Analytics
  • Importer Security Filing (ISF)
  • Data and Trends

Improve charting and documentation

One of the main reasons electronic health records (EHR) was developed in the first place was to upgrade the process of charting and documenting patient information. In the past, healthcare organizations had to document important data using pen and paper, a time-consuming task heavily prone to errors. With the advent of EHR, medical facilities were able to start documenting patient information electronically, increasing the accuracy of patient data while eliminating the need for double-data entry and paper files.

EHR helps speed up the process of charting while providing physicians with a user-friendly method of doing so. Once patient information is entered into the EHR, all other departments within an organization are able to access that data, ensuring a patient’s medical record is always accurate and up to date. Data stored in an EHR is also much more secure and eliminates any potential tampering or theft, which could occur with paper files. Below are some common tools used within an EHR that help with charting and documentation:

  • Patient History
  • Voice/Text Recognition
  • Patient Demographics
  • Patient-Specific Notes
  • HIPAA Compliance

Increase revenue

Many EHR solutions offer tools to help manage your health organization’s financial and revenue cycles. Claims can be scrubbed of errors and submitted automatically, leading to fewer rejections and faster payments received. Furthermore, going paperless saves your staff time, and as everyone knows, time is money.

Additionally, government incentives are provided for organizations who use EHR and meet meaningful use standards. Eligible facilities can earn financial incentives up to tens of thousands of dollars by simply implementing an EHR. At the same time, penalties can be equally as costly if qualifications are not met. While implementing an EHR is often time consuming and expensive, the return on investment for years to come is well worth it. Consider an EHR with these tools if you are looking for help managing your finances:

  • Revenue Cycle Management
  • Billing/Payment
  • Claims Management
  • Online Payments
  • Patient-Risk Management


How Does EHR Software Work?

EHR software works, primarily, by allowing physicians to chart and document medical information electronically as opposed to using pen and paper. Health organizations can share patient information with other departments and facilities to make sure physicians are provided with the most accurate patient data. These systems provide healthcare professionals with tools to manage both administrative as well as clinical tasks. In addition to the automation of tasks, these solutions supply practitioners with a patient’s complete medical history. Health organizations of various sizes and treatment specialties use EHR software to streamline their operations and issue quality patient treatment.

How Do I Know if I’m Ready for an EHR?

There are some clear indicators that can help you determine if you’re healthcare organization is ready to implement an EHR. Depending on the size of your facility and how many clients you provide care for, an EHR may become necessary in order to thrive and optimize workflow. Generally speaking, most healthcare facilities will benefit from the use of an EHR. Below are some of the factors that may point out whether your health organization is ready to adopt an EHR solution:

  • Size of health facility with possible multiple departments
  • Missed revenue opportunities
  • Inconsistent quality of healthcare provided
  • Experiencing errors with charting and documentation
  • Problems with patient engagement and satisfaction
  • Issues with misplaced, tampered or damaged patient records

How Do I Select an EHR?

Selecting an EHR, much like any software, is often a difficult and time-consuming process. It’s important to consider the unique needs of your healthcare organization and factor in your facility’s medical specialty. Make sure to talk with staff who will actually be using the software in order to gain an understanding of what features and tools your physicians want and which they don’t. With so many different solutions out there, it’s critical to compare multiple vendors before jumping right into adopting a system. Before selecting potential EHR systems, we recommend taking a look at our EHR Software Requirements Checklist or our EHR Software Comparison Chart.

Recent Articles

Reports and Research

Confidence Comes from Data

EHR software selection is complex and beset with problems for both IT buyers and solution providers. We do 3 things to make it fast and simple:

FREE Software Selection Platform

Our platform provides best-practices, including requirements templates & vendor comparisons, to help you make the right decisions for your unique needs, in a fraction of the time. Try it FREE.

Aggregated Reviews

We have collected every software review available online, crunched every last word using our proprietary Sentiment Analysis algorithms, all so we can tell you how a software product is viewed in its marketplace, retrospectively.

Professional Analysis

We relentlessly collect and analyze data about software, then compile and share it so every company has the same access to the information. The information we gain is then used in our Software Selection platform to help you find the right software.

Your Guides

Our Industry Journalists proudly distill the helpful information you read on SelectHub, always on the mission to share what matters to you can make your best decisions independently.

EHR articles are written and edited by:

Zachary Totah

Content Manager

As SelectHub’s Content Manager, Zachary Totah leads a team of more than 35 writers and editors in their quest to provide content that helps software buyers find the right system for their company.

Show More

Ryan McElroy

Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst

Ryan McElroy is a Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst at SelectHub who writes content on EHR, EMR, home health, telemedicine and construction scheduling.

Show More

Kashish Arora

Technical Writer

Kashish Arora is a Technical Writer at SelectHub. She pursued her master’s degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication.

Show More

What is a Patient Portal and How Does It Help Medical Practices?

November 20, 2023
Following the introduction of electronic medical records (EMR) software and electronic health records (EHR) software, the use of patient portals has become increasingly popular in health care organizations of all sizes and specialties. You may be wondering, “What is a patient portal, and what does it do?”

Samikshan SarkarWhat is a Patient Portal and How Does It Help Medical Practices?
read more

Best Behavioral Health EHR/EMR Software

November 15, 2023
When the EMR software market emerged, behavioral health professionals had very few choices designed to suit their specific needs. Many ended up settling for more general medical EMRs that failed to suffice their organizational requirements. In recent years it’s safe to say that the tide has turned. As specialty clinics began to gain popularity, the need for behavioral health EHR solutions and mental health software became evident.

Riya JambleBest Behavioral Health EHR/EMR Software
read more

EHR Comparison: Top EHR Software

No comments
November 14, 2023
Finding the right EHR vendor is crucial to providing quality care and running an efficient practice. However, with so many vendors on the market, choosing the right EHR software can be a daunting task. In this article, we’ve put together a comprehensive EHR comparison chart to help you navigate the crowded marketplace and find the system that best suits your needs.

Kashish AroraEHR Comparison: Top EHR Software
read more

Ambulatory EHR vs Inpatient EHR: Understanding the Important Differences

1 comment
November 13, 2023
As time goes on, paper-based patient records are swiftly becoming a thing of the past. The popularity of health information technology is rising at an ever-increasing rate, and EHR software adoption is no different. The use of ambulatory vs. inpatient electronic health records has been booming, but many need help understanding the difference between the two.

Kashish AroraAmbulatory EHR vs Inpatient EHR: Understanding the Important Differences
read more

Key Medical Software Features And Requirements

No comments
November 10, 2023

Medical software has become a staple of the healthcare industry in recent years. From EMR/EHR and practice management software to medical billing and patient scheduling, there are a wide variety of options as well as tools and features when it comes to medical software. These medical features offer a number of benefits to help with healthcare organizations from small specialty clinics to larger hospital systems.

Evan HeierKey Medical Software Features And Requirements
read more

EMR/EHR RFP Best Practices

No comments
November 9, 2023
EHR software and EMR systems are staples across medical practices of all sizes. The market is overflowing with options, making selecting the right EMR or EHR vendor challenging. Writing an EHR RFP (request for proposal) is a necessary step that provides information about you and your practice to prospective vendors while giving you insight into their products.

Divya DugarEMR/EHR RFP Best Practices
read more

Future of Electronic Health Records: What To Expect in 2024

No comments
Last Reviewed:
With the seamless integration of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, the surging popularity of wearable devices, the transformative potential of 5G and groundbreaking insights from big data, the EHR and EMR software industry horizon shimmers with boundless promise. So what’s the future of electronic health records?

In this article, we’ll explore the EHR/EMR trends to expect in 2024.

Kashish AroraFuture of Electronic Health Records: What To Expect in 2024
read more

SaMD: Everything You Need to Know About Software as a Medical Device

November 6, 2023

Software as a Medical Device, or SaMD, can be described as a class of medical software designed to carry out one or more medical functions without the need for actual hardware. This can comprise of software or applications intended to treat diagnose, cure, mitigate or prevent disease. SaMD is typically used with non-medical computing platforms connected to virtual networks or other general-use hardware.

Evan HeierSaMD: Everything You Need to Know About Software as a Medical Device
read more

Top EMR / EHR Software Vendors List

No comments
November 3, 2023
EHRs and EMRs are no longer just modern technology. It’s a necessity. If you want to avoid federal fines, provide value-based care and reduce physician burnout, you should implement an EHR/EMR system. But selecting a perfect solution from a range of EHR and EMR products can be exhausting. You need to evaluate multiple EHR vendors based on your unique needs.

Riya JambleTop EMR / EHR Software Vendors List
read more

Key Benefits of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

1 comment
Last Reviewed:
In the last decade, medical practices, regardless of size and medical specialty, are using medical software to manage their patients and care providers. As a result, the benefits of Electronic Health Records (EHR) are becoming more well understood, and the use of EHR software is on the rise. This jump in adoption is because there are many advantages of electronic health records that we’ll cover in this article. But first, let’s see what an EHR is.

Divya DugarKey Benefits of Electronic Health Records (EHR)
read more

Top Healthcare Technology Trends For 2023

1 comment
October 31, 2023
Health information technology is constantly adapting to meet the needs of health care providers. Medical software tools and healthcare technology trends have evolved from a stronger focus on patient satisfaction to greater security of patient data.

Understanding which features and tools your organization will benefit from can take time and effort. Here, we’ll highlight critical current and future healthcare technology trends to help your facility stay ahead of the curve.

Samikshan SarkarTop Healthcare Technology Trends For 2023
read more

Ultimate Guide to EHR Selection

No comments
October 31, 2023

Electronic Health Records, or EHR software, have numerous advantages for health care practices and practitioners, especially since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Medicaid EHR incentive programs were passed. EHR makes it possible for patients and physicians to access medical files digitally. This ease of access can often help increase patient satisfaction and improve care. EHR has become an essential part of any practice, so much so that even single-physician practices can’t afford to go without them. In this article, we will take a comprehensive view of the EHR selection process so you can understand in detail how to select an EHR that will work best for you.

Divya DugarUltimate Guide to EHR Selection
read more

Best Web-Based EMR / EHR Software

October 30, 2023

Throughout recent years, the use of electronic health records (EHR software) and electronic medical records (EMR software) has skyrocketed, becoming standard practice for practically every single healthcare organization. With the growing use of these systems, another recent trend has been moving to the cloud.

Web based electronic medical records and health records solutions have become increasingly popular, and for a number of reasons we’ll get into in this blog post. While traditional, or on-premise, EHRs are still a valuable asset for a number of healthcare facilities, cloud-based solutions typically offer more advantages and flexibility.

Jason KellerBest Web-Based EMR / EHR Software
read more

EHR Incentive Program and Why It Pays to Participate

No comments
October 30, 2023

With the increasing popularity of electronic health records (EHR software), you’ve most likely heard of an EHR incentive program — government incentives that come with the implementation and use of such systems. While software solutions already provide a number of advantages for a variety of health organizations, these monetary incentives provide additional benefits for healthcare professionals.

Jason KellerEHR Incentive Program and Why It Pays to Participate
read more

Practice Management and EHR: Key Differences Between Them

Last Reviewed:
When it comes to health care facilities, figuring out the difference between all the various software tools can be challenging. With so many vendors out there, the process of choosing the right product becomes even more stressful. One of the most popular types of software used in health care today is medical practice management software. So what is practice management software? Read further.

Kashish AroraPractice Management and EHR: Key Differences Between Them
read more

8 Ways to Maintain Better Health Care Information Security

October 24, 2023
Throughout recent years, the use of technology in healthcare has become standard throughout the medical industry. With the increased use of medical software and the heightened value of health care data, it’s critical to make efforts to protect patient information better. While security has always been one of the more significant concerns regarding health care information technology, great strides have been made as of late to tighten up the protection of critical data. In this article we will cover 8 ways to maintain health care information security.

Samikshan Sarkar8 Ways to Maintain Better Health Care Information Security
read more

EHR vs EMR: The Difference Between Them

1 comment
October 20, 2023

The use of electronic health records (EHR software) and electronic medical records (EMR software) has grown increasingly popular over the years as healthcare organizations are doing everything they can to provide greater quality care and increase revenue in the process. Many people view the EHR vs EMR comparison as being one and the same, but there are important differences worth knowing.

Evan HeierEHR vs EMR: The Difference Between Them
read more

An Overview of Medical Charting and Top Software Solutions

October 16, 2023
In recent years, more and more healt care organizations are embracing the use of health care information technology to handle their medical charting needs. EHR software solutions allow physicians to improve the quality of care they provide, reduce charting errors and spend more time focusing on the patient rather than documenting by hand. As pen-and-paper charting is slowly phasing out, health facilities are using medical charting systems to document patient information more efficiently, helping increase daily traffic and revenue opportunities.

Samikshan SarkarAn Overview of Medical Charting and Top Software Solutions
read more

EHR Implementation: Assembling Your Team and Managing Your Implementation

No comments
October 9, 2023
Implementing EHR software can sometimes resemble navigating a maze in the dark, requiring careful planning and guidance to find the right path. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of team management, timeline creation and the necessary steps to complete an EHR implementation successfully.

Kashish AroraEHR Implementation: Assembling Your Team and Managing Your Implementation
read more

EMR / EHR Requirements and System Features List

September 28, 2023
Accurate electronic health records are literally a matter of life and death, and sifting through the many EMR/EHR features can feel overwhelming. EMR and EHR software collect and standardize the information needed for managing patients’ medical records and treatment, so choosing the right system based on your specific EMR requirements is vital.

Kashish AroraEMR / EHR Requirements and System Features List
read more

NextGen vs Epic: Which EMR System is the Winner?

September 27, 2023

EHR and EMR software have a reputation for being difficult to work with, but some are definitely better than others. The question is, how much better? In a NextGen vs Epic EMR comparison, both are very popular electronic medical record software systems, but how do they stand up against one another? Here’s a feature-by-feature breakdown of Epic vs NextGen.

Bergen AdairNextGen vs Epic: Which EMR System is the Winner?
read more

How To Successfully Conduct an EHR Readiness Assessment

No comments
September 25, 2023

EHR software (electronic health records) is commonplace across hospitals and single physician practices alike. However, creating and implementing an EHR system can be tedious and complicated. Conducting an EHR readiness assessment is essential prior to implementation to ensure that your practice is ready to support the new system.

These assessments evaluate preparedness across each organizational component.

Divya DugarHow To Successfully Conduct an EHR Readiness Assessment
read more

Cloud-Based vs. On-Premise EHR Systems

1 comment
September 22, 2023
Choosing deployment for your software is like choosing a new car. Options vary in price and what they can offer you, but the end goal is the same. Choosing between cloud-based EHR vs. on-premise systems can feel like comparing a Mazda to a Lexus, but we’re here to tell you about the pros and cons of both types of EHR software that may surprise you.

Kashish AroraCloud-Based vs. On-Premise EHR Systems
read more

The Best EHR Tools

No comments
September 18, 2023
Are you tired of playing hide-and-seek with patient records and doing a paper shuffle marathon? In the health care realm, where organization is key, EHR software is the superhero of efficiency. So what are the best EHR tools available on the market? We’ll answer that and explore how an EHR can make a difference for your company.

Kashish AroraThe Best EHR Tools
read more

EHR Implementation Cost: A Logistical Breakdown

No comments
Last Reviewed:
Electronic health records, or EHR software, have become customary for health care organizations over the years. Both EHR and EMR applications have transformed the way the medical industry conducts patient care. We’re here to discuss EHR costs and give you an idea of what to expect when implementing this software. But, first, let’s take a look at what EHRs are and what they have to offer you.

Kashish AroraEHR Implementation Cost: A Logistical Breakdown
read more

What Is eMAR? A Comprehensive Guide

No comments
September 5, 2023
In health care, documentation is crucial to ensure accurate and up-to-date record keeping. eMARs, or electronic medication administration records, are a viable way for clinics and medical institutions to go digital. They create medical documentation in electronic health record (EHR) systems by leveraging modern technologies such as radio frequencies and electronic tracking sensors.

Samikshan SarkarWhat Is eMAR? A Comprehensive Guide
read more

Types of Electronic Health Record (EHR) Systems

1 comment
Last Reviewed:
Today, the medical world has migrated from paper-based records to digital methods of storing information in the form ofelectronic health records (EHR). EHRs allow doctors and nurses to consolidate patients’ medical histories in a digital file to easily navigate patient data. There are various types of EHR systems in the medical world today.

Samikshan SarkarTypes of Electronic Health Record (EHR) Systems
read more

5 EHR Security Measures that Alleviate Privacy Concerns

1 comment
August 14, 2023

Healthcare is evolving, and the tools to facilitate better patient care are in use as much by multi-specialty hospitals as by single practices. During your visit to the doctor, you may have seen them taking notes on their computer, tablet or smartphone. As you may have guessed, they aren’t just typing up new documents, they’re utilizing electronic health record software (EHR). There are many advantages to using EHRs, among which are improved care for patients and increased efficiency for physicians. While EHR make maintaining medical records more efficient for practices, electronic health record security and privacy concerns are also on the rise.

Divya Dugar5 EHR Security Measures that Alleviate Privacy Concerns
read more

Selecting the Best EHR Vendor for Your Specialty Practice

No comments
Last Reviewed:

From a technical perspective, a specialty EHR may be appropriate. But don’t overlook key business considerations.

Selecting your first EHR, or switching to another, involves many technical and business considerations. This is one of the biggest technology decisions your specialty practice or clinic will ever make. It’s not easy to evaluate complex software applications, let alone sort through the hundreds of vendors each touting its self-proclaimed “best solution.”

Dan GreenfieldSelecting the Best EHR Vendor for Your Specialty Practice
read more

EHR Software Demo Questions to Ask

No comments
Last Reviewed:

Electronic Health Records, or EHR, allow health care providers to combine all of the data needed to manage patients’ medical records. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality states that EHR software can improve quality of care and lower costs. Instead of keeping everything filed away in a manila folder, providers can now collect information in one place and make it accessible to everyone in the practice.

SelectHubEHR Software Demo Questions to Ask
read more