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EMR vs. PMS: Integrated Together Increases Practice Efficiencies

Electronic Health Records | Medical Practice | Practice Management System | Electronic Medical Record

The Two Departments of a Medical Practice

In the most common medical practices, whether general practice or a specialty practice, the office usually functions as two departments: the clinical staff and the administrative staff, as found on Chron. As mentioned, some practices may have "clinic heads and ancillary clinic providers".

No matter the exact practice structure, the electronic medical record (EMR) is the software that the clinical staff uses to document patient care within the practice. The practice management system (PMS) software is where the administrative staff will perform their daily tasks to support the practice. 

To quickly clarify the difference between the EMR versus the electronic health record (EHR) is simply the purpose. A patient's EMR pertains to a specific practice, as compared to the purpose of the EHR. An EHR is the digital culmination of a patient's clinical information from all medical sources that is available to share among treating physicians at different facilities.

The Advantages of an Electronic Medical Record

medical professional checking electronic medical record (EMR vs PMS)

The EMR is a software-based system that houses a practice's patient clinical information. No matter the type of practice, software technology now offers features to capture and store patient data. 


Once a patient has been checked in for their appointment, he or she is ready to be taken back for clinical evaluation. The first course of action, at most physician offices, is to take vitals: temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. Vitals get entered into a patient's chart.

  • Connected and Automated - Today's technology allows most EMRs to integrate vital-taking equipment to record the information directly into the patient's digital chart. This automated process eliminates charting and interpretation errors.

Clinician Charting

Electronic charts do not take up physical space as do paper charts. In place of expanding to store charts, a practice can expand to add providers and patient rooms. 

  • Patient Visit Information - Depending upon the practice type, there are general and specific information the nurses and/or physicians must obtain to create the patient's visit documentation that is set up to drop into a patient's visit, especially for unremarkable findings: reason for visit, review of systems, physical examination, any particular office procedure, blood work, etc. Everything must be documented, not only for patient care but also for supportive documentation for billing.
  • Immediate Dictation - Today's technology includes customized templates for general and specialist practices. Integrated features offer immediate and complete charting that avoid delayed dictation and errors from transcribed dictations.
  • Save Time and Patient Privacy - Electronic charting can help clinicians save time, especially when a review of previous office visits and outside documents are vital to the visit. 
  • Patient Privacy - Patient clinical information is secure for authorized staff only. 
  • E-scribing - An electronic feature that gives physicians the capability to electronically prescribe patient medication and send to the pharmacy on record.

Patient Portal

An engaging tool that gives patient's access to their medical records and allows them to communicate with their physician office. An efficient way for patients to add in new information. 

Now that "95% of hospitals in the USA are using EMRs", the focus is to advance and capitalize on today's technology to get a better return on investment, as found on HIMSS19. Learn some of the pros and cons of electronic medical, or health, records. 

The Efficient Support of the Practice Management System 

administrative staff speaking to healthcare professional (EMR vs. PMS)

Administrative processes are necessary for any medical practice to be successful. Scheduling, insurance verification, reception, and coding and billing are all essential parts of administrative support. Today's practice management systems (PMS) are built to help medical practices run more efficient with less manual processes to save time and lower the number of days invoices sit on accounts receivable reports. For many practices, the main features of a practice management system increase administrative efficiencies and save time and money.

Patient Demographics

Once a patient's demographics gets entered, there is never a need to re-enter into another area. Patients can also get access to their patient portal to fill out and complete the necessary questionnaires for upcoming visits.

Insurance Verification

PM systems have interfaces with major insurances that make it easy to verify patient information, and this is a time-saving feature. With today's high deductibles, it is imperative that insurance information is known for patient check-in or before. Patients can be alerted to amount that they will need to pay at the time of service.

Appointment Scheduling

Scheduling templates give scheduling staff a more efficient way to correctly schedule patients for the different types of patient visits, such as new patient, follow-up, or procedure. 

Coding and Billing

Medical coding is complicated and continues to change. Today's practice management systems are inclusive with all the accepted codes to efficiently produce patient and insurance invoices. Most insurances can now be billed electronically saving a practice the costs of snail mail. Payments can be received electronically and applied to the appropriate patient invoices. Efficient claim correction is available to get rejected claims quickly resent.

Patient Financial Responsibility 

One area where many practices fail to collect monies is the patient responsibility balance. Front desk or check-out staff easily see what is due from patients. Payment plans can be established to send out reminder e-mails or snail mail invoices. 

Reports for Practice Analysis

Reports can be created to give practice administration a good idea where the practice stands in regards to those areas that are most deficient, especially when it comes to collections, whether insurance or patient. Providers are able to see their patient population breakdown. Whatever reports a practice believes would be beneficial can usually be customized. Today's systems allow practice staff to create reports on the fly.

The Power of Integrating an EMR and a PMS

At Advanced Data Systems Corporation (ADS), we believe both software systems, the EMR, and the PMS, have vital features to empower any medical practice the means to increase clinical and administrative efficiencies. Integrating these two software systems is the ultimate goal of complete electronic patient management. 

Learn more about our MedicsCloud Suite that encompasses everything you need to efficiently run your office, group or network to increase practice productivity. With our training, support, and services, you will be able to analyze your practice, improve on any inefficiencies, grow your patient population and realize a return on investment. Call the ADS team for a detailed demonstration and review the technology powering our EHR (EMR) and PM software.  

About Advanced Data Systems Corporation

Since 1977, clients have relied on the ADS team and our intelligent automation solutions and services. The MedicsCloud Suite, ADS’s latest generation of rules driven financial, revenue cycle, practice management, clinical charting and reporting, and mobility/engagement platforms, are used by clients to produce maximized revenue and efficiency for their practices, groups, and enterprise networks.

MedicsRCM (ADS RCM) is ideal if comprehensive outsourced revenue cycle management and billing services are preferred. MedicsRCM also uses the MedicsCloud Suite.