Conventional vs Electronic Medical Records (EMR)


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an Electronic Medical Record is a real-time patient health record with access to evidence-based decision support tools that can be used to aid clinicians in decision-making. It can automate and streamline a clinician’s workflow, ensuring that all clinical information is communicated. It can also prevent delays in response that result in gaps in care and support the collection of data for uses other than clinical care, such as billing, quality management, outcome reporting, and public health disease surveillance and reporting There are several key differences between conventional Medical Records (MRs) and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). Here are some of the main distinctions:

Conventional MRs are typically paper-based and stored physically in filing cabinets or shelves. On the other hand, EMRs are electronic files that are stored digitally in a computer system or a secure online database.

1. Format and Storage:

Conventional MRs require physical access to the location where they are stored, such as in a doctor’s office or hospital/clinic, which can be time-consuming and may limit availability, especially in cases of emergency or when the records are accessed from different locations. EMRs, however, can be accessed electronically from various locations using laptop or mobile devices as long as there is a secure network connection, providing more immediate and convenient access to patient information. This improves medical data exchange between health facilities.

2. Data Security and Privacy:

Conventional MRs can be susceptible to loss, damage, or unauthorized access. EMRs provide greater security measures, including encryption, user authentication, and access controls, to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of patient data. Furthermore, EMRs can also record and track suspicious activity to protect patient privacy. WHO emphasizes the importance of maintaining patient privacy and safeguarding electronic health information.

3. Data Sharing and Interoperability:

Sharing conventional MRs often involves making physical copies or faxing documents, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors. EMRs support seamless data sharing and interoperability, enabling healthcare providers to exchange patient information more efficiently, improve coordination of care, and facilitate continuity across different healthcare settings.

4. Data Organization and Retrieval:

Conventional records often rely on handwritten notes and various paper-based forms, which can lead to challenges in data organization and retrieval. EMRs, on the other hand, offer structured and standardized formats for data entry, making it easier to organize, search, and retrieve information. This can improve efficiency and accuracy in healthcare settings.

5. Data Analysis and Decision Support:

EMRs offer opportunities for data analysis and decision support through automated algorithms, data mining, and clinical decision support systems. These tools can assist healthcare professionals in identifying patterns, trends, and potential interventions based on large datasets, ultimately improving patient care and outcomes.

EMRs solved the issues faced by health facilities with regards to patient medical record such as storage areas, loss of files, or high expenses for maintaining physical medical record data. It is important to note that while EMRs offer numerous advantages over conventional MRs, their implementation requires appropriate infrastructure, training, and considerations for data privacy and security.

Ksatria Medical Systems (KMS), has experiences in developing information system for hospitals and clinics, providing EMR features to health facilities at an affordable cost. Patient data are stored in the cloud, with strict encryption and international security standards to maintain the data security and privacy.

To learn more about KMS, we provide a free product demo session. You can select a time that best fits your schedule here. Should you have further inquiry about the features in KMS, please contact our WhatsApp number at +62-821-4520-5712 or email us at

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