Sample Nursing Essays on EMRs and EHRs

Advances in technology in the modern world have contributed to the utilization of electronic systems that promote storage and retrieval of patients’ data such as the use of EHRs and EMRs. Although EMRs and EHRs both apply to health settings, they are different concepts that improve healthcare service provision, access to care, and quality of services offered in clinical settings.

Electronic medical records (EMRs) are digitalized versions of patients’ medical records that contain the patients’ medical and current histories while electronic health records (EHRs) are inclusive of patients’ medical history and details from all healthcare practitioners involved in the patients’ healthcare (McMullen, et al., 2014; Abiy, et al., 2018). In EMR, interoperability relates to the ability to store patients’ medical records in one electronic file and the ease of retrieving the information from different electronic devices like personal computer and hospital-based computers (Reisman, 2017). EMR systems improve quality and access to care by eliminating the use of paper documentation, which can easily get lost, reducing the risks of errors through error detection features, and improve retrieval of patients’ medical records, which makes it easier for physicians to offer patients’ healthcare services regardless of their location (Lambooij, Drewes, & Koster, 2017). These features make EMRs useful in clinical practice.

In EHR systems, interoperability enables healthcare organizations to bring together different health-related software programs such as e-prescription programs, EMRs and billing under one system to ease access of different sets of data on patients. Healthcare practitioners can use the system to access, share information, integrate and coordinate care practices within the organization, its regional branches or nationally (Reisman, 2017). EHR systems improve quality and access to care by promoting seamless exchange, access and retrieval, and storage of patient data, which reduces the assessment and history taking processes conducted during visits to the healthcare facility.

Both EMRs and EHRs improve the provision of care to patients. The ease in storing and retrieving information from these systems makes them suitable for healthcare facilities.



Abiy, R., Gashu, K., Asemaw, T., Mitiku, M., Fekadie, B., Abebaw, Z., . . . Tilahun, B. (2018). A Comparison of Electronic Medical Record Data to Paper Records in Antiretroviral Therapy Clinic in Ethiopia: What is affecting the Quality of the Data? Online Journal of Public Health Informatics, 10(2), e212. Retrieved from

Lambooij, M. S., Drewes, H. W., & Koster, F. (2017). Use of electronic medical records and quality of patient data: different reaction patterns of doctors and nurses to the hospital organization. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, Article number: 17. Retrieved from

McMullen, P. C., Howie, W. Q., Philipsen, N., Bryant, V. C., Setlow, P. D., Calhoun, M., & Green, Z. D. (2014). Electronic Medical Records and Electronic Health Records: Overview for Nurse Practitioners. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 10(9), 660-665. Retrieved from

Reisman, M. (2017). EHRs: The Challenge of Making Electronic Data Usable and Interoperable. Pharmacy & Therapeutics, 42(9), 572-575. Retrieved from