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Jerris Heaton

Hospital EHRs vs. Ambulatory EHRs: What’s the Difference?

May 28, 2019

EHR 3 Minute Read

EHRs have revolutionized the way that the healthcare industry maintains and exchanges data, allowing for safer and more effective care for patients. With accurate, up-to-date information that’s easily accessible, clinicians can make the soundest decisions when it comes to treatment plans. An EHR can also help reduce medical errors and facilitate more efficient diagnoses. Beyond the care benefits, EHRs can also help reduce costs by reducing paperwork, reduction of testing duplication, and a more efficient organization overall. Hospital EHRs and ambulatory EHRs are the same right? Tomāto Tomäto? Not quite, let’s look at some of the differences between the two!

Different EHRs: Hospital and Ambulatory

Inpatient and outpatient facilities operate differently, translating to different needs when it comes to choosing an EHR platform. Each type of organization has unique challenges—in an ambulatory setting, an EHR needs to be able to access data from different providers and labs; whereas, a hospital EHR must integrate with its many departments.

When hospitals look to find the ideal EHR, they’re typically concerned with managing inpatient data—data that could be coming from multiple sources within the greater facility, including labs, radiology, and other departments. While hospitals have overcome many IT hurdles, they still struggle with getting every system to communicate—a key driver for a sophisticated EHR system. EHRs become the new hub of all patient data, seamlessly integrating the many different sectors of an organization.

An ambulatory EHR, however, is used in outpatient settings and medical practices. Its primary purpose is to be the proprietor of a patient’s complete medical history. In most cases, an ambulatory EHR is less complex than those used by hospitals. Ambulatory EHRs enable a physician to easily track a patient’s medical history and treatment, providing a big picture view of their health, often helping with diagnosing ailments and more effective treatment of chronic conditions.

Because these two types of EHRs work differently, they also have different certification criteria. Hospital EHR certification focuses on orders and medical management, requiring electronic medication administration records and medication reconciliation for certification capabilities. Conversely, ambulatory EHR certification centers around patient-centric features, such as ePrescribing, patient reminders, clinical summaries, and timely access.

Ambulatory and Hospital EHRs: Working Together for Better Care

While ambulatory EHRs are more suited for single practices and inpatient EHRs are typically utilized in larger hospitals, there are, however, many broader healthcare facilities which include practices, hospitals, and other types of services. These organizations would greatly benefit from EHRs that integrate seamlessly together, providing every involved clinician with access to vital data to ensure better care for each patient. Interoperability is critical for the future of healthcare, and it only makes sense that increased data availability should be a goal for every industry stakeholder.

ChartLogic and Medsphere: One-Stop Solution for EHRs

ChartLogic, a pioneer in EHR and healthcare technology, recently merged with EHR provider Medsphere. The objective: to create a comprehensive healthcare IT platform that has no boundaries—extending from practices to hospitals to inpatient facilities—enabling limitless continuity of care.

Improve patient care with an EHR solution that works best for your unique facility and organizational workflows. Learn more about the superior features, functionality, and seamless capabilities of the ChartLogic EHR.

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