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

EHR Software Reports and Research

Quickly find the best assets available for your EHR selection research here. Our Market Research Analysts have clearly summarized and reviewed each asset to help you select only the assets you need.

Evaluating Your Next EHR Support (6 downloads) ChartLogic – Evaluating Your Next EHR Support
Navigating MIPS 2020 (2 downloads) ChartLogic – Navigating MIPS 2020
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Your Guides

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EHR articles are written and edited by:

Mariah Hansen

Lead Editor

As the lead editor at SelectHub, Mariah edits and manages content for more than 40 different software categories, as well as writing for a couple of them herself.

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Jason Keller

Market Research Associate

Jason Keller is a Market Research Associate at SelectHub who writes content on Business Analytics Tools, Big Data Tools, Facility Management Software, Marketing Automation Software, Field Service Software and Endpoint Security Software. He studied journalism at the University of Northern Colorado, and in his free time likes reading and writing creatively, listening to music, hiking and hanging out with his dogs.

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Top EHR Software Vendors For 2020

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According to a report by Grand View Research, the CAGR of the Electronic Health Records (EHR) market from 2019-2025 will be 5.59%. It also predicts that revenue in 2025 will be over $33.41 billion. Another 2019 report by market research firm Business Intelligence states that the global EHR market is valued at $30 billion in 2019 and will reach $38.3 billion by 2025. Whatever the predictions are, you can’t deny that EHR software is necessary to ensure smooth healthcare operations. There are many EHR vendors on the market, but the top five to seven vendors control a large share of revenue metrics and subscribers. These vendors dominate the market because they provide features that serve numerous niches within the healthcare industry. Before we look at the top 5 EHR software vendors, let’s understand what an EHR is, its benefits and some common features they support.

Divya DugarTop EHR Software Vendors For 2020
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How to Select an EHR: Complete Guide to EHR Selection

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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 DugarHow to Select an EHR: Complete Guide to EHR Selection
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EMR / EHR Requirements and System Features List

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 that is needed for managing patients’ medical records and treatment, so choosing the right system based on your specific EMR / EHR requirements is vital.

Bergen AdairEMR / EHR Requirements and System Features List
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Electronic Health Record Security: 5 Ways EHR Security Alleviates Privacy Concerns

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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 EHRs make maintaining medical records more efficient for practices, electronic health record security and privacy concerns are also on the rise.

Divya DugarElectronic Health Record Security: 5 Ways EHR Security Alleviates Privacy Concerns
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Web-Based EMR / EHR Software: Everything You Need to Know and Top Solutions


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 KellerWeb-Based EMR / EHR Software: Everything You Need to Know and Top Solutions
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EMR and EHR RFP Best Practices

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EHR software and EMR systems have become staples across medical practices both large and small. Powered by AI and the cloud, the market is overflowing with options, and so selecting the right EMR or EHR vendor can be a challenge. Though an EMR or EHR solution performs a variety of functions, you want one that at least complies with the Medicaid EHR incentive program and that improves your operations and patient care. It’s an important decision that will affect the efficiency and viability of your practice, so make your choice with care. To choose an EHR or EMR, the first step is to write a request for proposal (RFP), a document that gives information about you and your practice to the prospective vendors while soliciting them for information about their products and offerings. Let’s take a look at how to write an EHR RFP below.

Divya DugarEMR and EHR RFP Best Practices
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Key Benefits of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

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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)
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How to Conduct an EHR Readiness Assessment

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EHR software (Electronics Health Records) have become commonplace across hospitals and single physician practices alike. However, the process of creating and implementing an EHR system can be tedious and complicated. Conducting an EHR readiness assessment becomes essential prior to implementation to ensure that your practice is ready to support the new system. These assessments evaluate preparedness across each organizational component. Regardless of whether you are a private practice or a group of hospitals, skipping this step may not only end up wasting untold amounts of time and money, but you may also not qualify for EHR incentive programs.

Divya DugarHow to Conduct an EHR Readiness Assessment
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EHR Incentive Program & Why It Pays To Participate

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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 & Why It Pays To Participate
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EHR Implementation: Assembling Your Team and Managing Your Implementation

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At times, an EHR software implementation can feel like trying to ram a square peg through a round hole. You’ve got all sorts of tiny moving parts to consider (and not to mention people), and communication is often sorely lacking. Have you ever tried to move a couch in a very cramped room? It’s kind of like that. To make the process fast and simple, you need a team — a group that will take the reins and lead your organization step-by-step through EHR implementation.

Jason KellerEHR Implementation: Assembling Your Team and Managing Your Implementation
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Top Behavioral And Mental Health EHR/EMR Providers


When the EMR software market first emerged, behavioral and mental health professionals had very few available choices designed to suit their specific needs. Many ended up settling for more general medical EMRs that, despite including custom templates designed for their specialty, weren’t entirely suited to their needs. In recent years it’s safe to say the tide has turned. As specialty clinics began to gain popularity, the need for mental and behavioral health software systems became evident.

Specialty healthcare providers — including mental health and behavioral health EMR providers — have begun to demand EMRs designed specifically for their needs. In some cases, this involves medical EMRs with robust, well-constructed modules focused on their specialty. However, most of the time, modern behavioral health providers are opting for specialty-specific systems. With a higher focus on behavioral and mental health than in the past, the EMR industry has jumped at the chance to meet this need. As a result, there is a wide range of mental and behavioral health EHR software available today.

Evan HeierTop Behavioral And Mental Health EHR/EMR Providers
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Future of Electronic Medical Records: Experts Predict EMR Trends in 2020

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Gone are the days of running down to a dank basement to find a stack of paper files when someone comes through the doors of a physician’s office. Electronic medical records, managed with EMR software, have revolutionized the way patient records are recorded and processed. But where is this crucial software headed? We spoke with four experts in the healthcare tech industry to find out their thoughts on the future of electronic medical records trends in 2020 and beyond.

Bergen AdairFuture of Electronic Medical Records: Experts Predict EMR Trends in 2020
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8 Types of Health Information Technology and Healthcare Software Systems


The average person often doesn’t think about healthcare software. They often don’t think about how it affects the medical industry as a whole either. Many might think, “My clinic is doing just fine, what do I care?” but the impact of health information technology has revolutionized patient care on a global scale.

Every year, more and more healthcare providers are taking steps to change the way their business manages their internal processes. The implementation of medical software and other specialized healthcare information systems in hospitals and other healthcare organizations has had monumental effects.

Evan Heier8 Types of Health Information Technology and Healthcare Software Systems
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EHR Implementation Cost Breakdown: Logistics of EHR Implementation Costs

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The use of electronic health records, or EHR Software has become customary for health organizations over the years. Both EHR and EMR software have transformed the way that the healthcare industry conducts patient care. These systems not only make patient information more accessible, but also keep it secure while maintaining patient privacy.

Not to mention, EHRs makes charting and recording much easier while resulting in fewer documentation errors. These are just some of the reasons why many healthcare organizations are going through the process of EHR implementation. Throughout this article we’ll discuss the EHR implementation cost breakdown and give you an idea of what to expect when adopting this software.

Jason KellerEHR Implementation Cost Breakdown: Logistics of EHR Implementation Costs
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Top Technology Trends in Healthcare

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Health information technology is constantly adapting to meet the changing needs of healthcare providers. From a stronger focus on patient satisfaction to greater security of patient data, medical software trends and tools have evolved throughout the years. With continual disruption, it can be difficult to understand which features and tools your healthcare organization will benefit from specifically. Here, we’ll highlight some of the key current and future technology trends in healthcare to keep in mind to help your facility stay ahead of the curve.

Dan GreenfieldTop Technology Trends in Healthcare
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What is a Patient Portal and How Does it Help Medical Practices?


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 healthcare organizations of all sizes and specialties. You may be wondering, “What is a patient portal and what does it do?” While it may seem obvious that these portals allow patients access to their medical information, it’s important to remember that patient portal software is used to improve the quality of care provided while enabling greater communication between physicians and their patients.

Evan HeierWhat is a Patient Portal and How Does it Help Medical Practices?
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EHR vs EMR: A Comprehensive Comparison of the Difference Between Them

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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 software comparison as being one and the same, but there are important differences worth knowing.

Electronic medical records have been around longer and are focused on the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions carried out by a single provider. Meanwhile, electronic health records do many of the same things while being specifically designed to exchange information with other providers.

Evan HeierEHR vs EMR: A Comprehensive Comparison of the Difference Between Them
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