COVID-19: Vaccine | Testing | Self-assessment | Patient & Visitor Safety | Visitor Policy
Emergency Room Wait Times
Home > Living Well > Health Library > Electronic Medical and Health Records
There are three types of medical records commonly used by patients and doctors:
Technically, any medical record you keep for yourself is a personal health record (PHR). You can keep records:
But you're most likely to hear the term PHR for records that you keep on the Internet. Your health plan's website or a local hospital's website may have programs you can use for free to do this. And your information is protected so that only people with permission can see it.
The advantage of using a website provided by your health plan is that you can type in information. For example, you can type in results of blood pressure tests you do at home. And when you see your doctor for a checkup or for treatment, he or she can see those home test results with just a few taps on the keyboard.
Quick access to information like that can help your doctor give you the best care possible.
Electronic medical records (EMRs) are electronic files that a doctor or other provider uses instead of paper files stored on shelves. The doctor types the information into a computer. Those computer files stay in your doctor's computer system.
Keeping records on a computer is a lot easier than keeping paper records. And these systems also handle scheduling and billing. Some doctors are still using paper because it's a lot of work to convert all those paper files into electronic records.
EMRs usually stay in the office computer system. They can't usually be sent to or shared with other providers outside of that system, such as a lab or hospital.
Electronic health records (EHRs) are built to be shared with other health care providers who all use the same system. So with an EHR system, your family doctor can instantly send medical records to your heart specialist, your hospital, the lab, your drugstore, and your computer at home.
The goal of EHRs is to improve the coordination of your care by giving providers accurate, up-to-date information. This includes information from you, the patient.
Current as of:
March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.
Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.
Set Your Location
Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.