Monday, August 26, 2013

Academic EHR/EMRs vs. Actual EHR/EMRs: Part One

We've heard the question often - "What is an academic EHR?". It's often a question presented by nursing instructors or students, people who are very familiar with electronic health records and electronic medical records. However, an academic EHR is not the same as the ones you'll find in hospitals.

Similar, but a little different. 

Which is why we've decided to do a mini series of blogs outlining the differences between full scale EHRs and academic EHRs.

So for our first post (and our first point!), a true academic EHR won't have every feature a real EHR will have. 

Which is a good thing. Real EHR systems are designed for everything from tracking orders and notes for patients, to storing insurance information and billing data. They are designed to withstand not only all privacy and HIPPA concerns but also provide accurate documentation for both medical history and legal documentation. The sections of a real EHR will cover everything from Labor and Delivery, to Surgery, to Opthamologist appointments. Which means someone had to pay to develop the coding and software for each one of those features. Features you, as an instructor, will probably never need. After all, your students don't need to see billing data for "patients" being used in the classroom. 

Because of the extra features included, a traditional EHR system would cost a great deal more when used in the classroom. The fee is a necessity to support such a large, complicated program.

But not only is it more expensive, the extra features lead to extra clutter. Students in a nursing program don't necessarily need Opthamologist notes. Trying to navigate through the screens of a larger program makes the process overwhelming for both teachers and students. Whereas an academic EHR eases students into the process by showing them only the features relevant to their program. 

Making it less expensive and easier to use for everyone involved.

View Part Two of Academic EHRs vs. Regular EHRs.