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Types of EMR Systems in Healthcare: Detailed Overview

Paul Kovalenko Paul Kovalenko | March 21, 2023 | 8 min

Picture the following scenario: a patient visits the hospital for a usual checkup. The physician does not scroll through pages of a hefty paper chart when they enter the examination room. Instead, doctors resort to a slick computer screen, where the patient’s whole medical history is within a few mouse clicks. This is the power of electronic medical record (EMR) systems, which have revolutionized the way healthcare practitioners manage patient data. In this post, we’ll look at the different types of EMR systems used in the healthcare industry and emphasize their distinct features and benefits. Whether you’re a healthcare professional or simply interested in the latest advancements in healthcare technology, this article is a must-read. So, let’s explore the world of EMR systems in healthcare.

EMR and EHR Software System: Definitions 

EMR is a digital record-keeping system that enables healthcare professionals to store and manage patient information securely, accurately, and efficiently.

Although the words EMR (Electronic Medical Record) and EHR (Electronic Health Record) are sometimes said to be synonymous, there are important distinctions. Medical EMR systems are similar to medical diaries in that they focus on a patient’s clinical history and therapies within a specific medical practice context. EHRs, on the other hand, function similarly to a collaborative library, containing data from several sources, such as lab results and imaging reports, to create a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s overall health. 

EMRs enable healthcare providers to store and organize patient data in a secure and efficient manner. While EMRs may not have the same level of data transferability as electronic health records (EHRs), they are still a practical and cost-effective solution that can offer numerous benefits to medical practices. 

Types of Electronic Medical Record Systems Explained

Now that you know that EMR and EHR are not the same, you may be wondering what are the different types of EMR systems out there. We have listed some of the most important ones:

Deployment-based EMR systems:


Server-based EMRs, also referred to as on-premise EMRs, allow healthcare professionals to access, update, and share patient data securely from various locations. These medical documentation systems offer benefits such as improved data security, accuracy, and streamlined workflows. However, they may have some drawbacks, such as higher upfront costs, the need for dedicated IT resources to maintain the server, and potential downtime due to server maintenance or updates.

Application service provider (ASP)

Among other types of EMRs, there is an application service provider.  ASP is a technological platform in which a third-party organization hosts and distributes software applications to clients through the internet. Businesses may access and use software applications thanks to ASP without having to invest in expensive information technology infrastructure or program development. One of the biggest disadvantages of ASP is its reliance on internet access, which can cause service interruptions and data security problems related to the need to exchange sensitive information with a third-party provider.


Cloud-based services are an important tool for modern enterprises because they provide flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and scalability. This type of EMR systems solution is becoming increasingly popular due to advantages such as pay-as-you-go pricing, automated software upgrades, and increased collaboration. Businesses, on the other hand, must be wary of possible negatives such as internet connectivity challenges, patients’ data security hazards, and regulatory compliance concerns.

Setting-based EMR systems:

Ambulatory EMRs

Ambulatory EMR systems are specifically designed for primary care physicians to manage and track patient information in real-time. These are part of the larger types of EMR systems, which include not only ambulatory systems but also inpatient EMR systems and personal health record (PHR) systems.

One of the key benefits of ambulatory EMR systems is their ability to enhance patient care by providing healthcare providers with instant access to critical patient data such as medical history, allergies, and medications. This leads to improved decision-making, more accurate diagnoses, and better treatment outcomes for patients.

Acute care EMRs

Acute care EMRs are one of the types of EMR software, designed for use in hospital settings to manage patient information during short-term stays. They enable healthcare providers to access and update patient records and test results in real-time, allowing for timely decision-making and better treatment outcomes. Acute care EMRs may also integrate with other hospital systems such as laboratory and imaging systems, providing a comprehensive view of patient care.

Hybrid EMRs

Among other examples of EMR systems are Hybrid EMRs that combine both acute care and ambulatory functionalities and offer a comprehensive approach to patient care management. 

Specialty-based EMR systems:

Specialty-specific EMR systems

EMR systems tailored to certain medical specializations or healthcare institutions are designed to meet the needs of these entities. These specialized systems include pre-configured templates and workflows that are suited to the unique needs of the given specialization, potentially limiting the system’s general flexibility and adaptability.

Multi-specialty EMRs

Multi-specialty EMRs are types of EMR systems in healthcare that are built to meet the demands of many medical specialties on a single platform. These systems come with a variety of templates, processes, and modules to meet the specific needs of various medical specializations, making them a versatile choice for healthcare companies. They are an all-in-one solution for healthcare practitioners wishing to optimize their practice management and patient data collection across many specialist areas, resulting in greater data management efficiency and accuracy.

Why is it Worth to Invest in EMR?

Enhanced Patient Care

Healthcare practitioners can rapidly access a patient’s medical history, prescriptions, and test results via an EMR system, regardless of where the patient was seen. This enables more informed decision-making and may result in improved patient outcomes.

Streamlined Workflow

An EMR system can assist healthcare practitioners in optimizing their processes, saving time on administrative activities like charting, scheduling, and invoicing. This enables healthcare practitioners to spend more time with patients and deliver more tailored treatment.

Improved Efficiency

EMR technology provides a slew of advantages to healthcare professionals that paper records cannot match. With clearly accessible graphs, the technology provides instant access to health parameters such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight. This information assists in making better-educated judgments.

Enhanced Security and Privacy

EMR systems include advanced security features like encryption, access limits, and audit trails to secure patient data. This contributes to the confidentiality and security of patient’s private information.

Meaningful Use Incentives

The US government provides incentives to healthcare providers who deploy and employ meaningful use of EMR systems. This can reduce the cost of establishing an EMR system while simultaneously enhancing patient care and results.

How To Choose an EMR System: 8 Essential Features 

Basic Features:

  • Templates for note-taking and charting
  • E-prescribing and medication management
  • Patient portal for secure messaging, scheduling, and recording
  • Lab and imaging integration
  • Billing and revenue cycle management

Advanced Features:

  • Speech recognition technology
  • Decision support tools for diagnosis and treatment recommendations
  • Automated reminders and education resources
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Popular EMRs in the US:

Epic Systems provides a complete portfolio of software solutions for all sizes of healthcare institutions, including electronic medical records, revenue cycle management, and patient engagement tools. Epic Software is well-known for its versatility and ability to interact with a broad range of healthcare systems.

Cerner, another industry leader in EMR software, provides a variety of solutions for both ambulatory and acute care settings. Their program is praised for its simple user interface and powerful clinical decision assistance capabilities.

Athenahealth is a cloud-based EMR solution noted for its simplicity and complete practice management capabilities. They include editable templates, revenue cycle management solutions, and patient engagement features.

Healthcare App & Web Software Development Services by Langate 

Langate is dedicated to delivering high-quality healthcare web application development services that enable healthcare providers and insurers to enhance patient outcomes and improve operations. Our seasoned development team understands the healthcare business and the particular issues it encounters. We can also provide bespoke health insurance software development services to assist insurers in more efficiently managing their policies and claims.

Our team has successfully completed a wide range of healthcare projects, including Authorized Admissions — a cutting-edge healthcare data validation service. Their innovative technology automatically monitors changes in insurance providers, including Medicare, Medicaid, and HMO, and delivers up-to-date information on insurance eligibility and resident lists. Our data integration solution in healthcare helped health professionals ease their health tracking systems, including medical billing, data storage, etc.

The modern healthcare system relies on numerous platforms to enhance data analysis, including EMRs, practice management, billing, and therapy systems. These platforms have unique data receiving and storage methods, creating a significant challenge for companies like Approved Admissions that require seamless data exchange.

Langate designed a complete healthcare IT integration plan after our Business Analyst conducted an in-depth review of Approved Admissions’ present system, growth opportunities, and primary goal points. We built a highly scalable microservices architecture that can handle an infinite number of source and target systems.

To solve the issue of divergent data sources, we created a standard data map that enables the smooth integration and matching of information collected from various databases. We also developed an adjustable scheduler that eliminates the need for practitioners to control data activities manually.

In order to preserve critical patient information, our team additionally prioritized security by installing data encryption mechanisms. We were able to develop a system that is safe, scalable, and capable of fulfilling the particular objectives of Approved Admissions by utilizing our expertise in a healthcare IT integration.

Our successful collaboration with Approved Admissions demonstrates our ability to provide tailored solutions that result in significant benefits for our clients. Contact us, and learn for yourself how a partnership with Langate can improve your business!


Knowing the different EMR systems available and their benefits will assist healthcare organizations in making educated decisions when picking a system that meets their unique needs. Investing in the correct EMR system, whether it’s a standalone EMR system or an integrated solution that includes various features, may be a game changer for healthcare providers. Now you know the basic types of EMR systems in healthcare and can boldly put this knowledge into practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular EMR system?

Different types of EMR systems are used worldwide, but one of the most widespread is cloud-based EMR systems. They have gained popularity in recent years due to their ease of use, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness compared to on-premise solutions.

How many EMR systems are there?

As the market is constantly changing, with new systems being developed and older ones being phased out, it is hard to precise a number. However, there are numerous EMR systems currently available that offer a range of features and functionalities to meet the needs of various healthcare organizations.

How many EHR systems are there?

There is a variety of EHR systems available. Each one is designed for different purposes, so you can choose the one which is suitable for your business.

What are the types of EMR systems?

Some types of EMR systems include on-premise, cloud-based, specialty-specific, open-source systems, and others.

What is the best type of EMR system?

The choice depends on the specific needs and preferences of each healthcare organization. Each type of system has its advantages and disadvantages, and the best one for a particular organization will depend on factors such as the company’s size, budget, workflow, and data security requirements.

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