Although the term Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is sometimes used interchangeably with the related term Electronic Health Record, the two terms are distinct.
In addition, EMRs allow clinicians to: track data over time; easily identify which patients are due for preventive screenings or checkups; check how their patients are doing on certain parameters—such as blood pressure readings or vaccinations; and monitor and improve overall quality of care within the practice.
From U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.healthit.gov/buzz-blog/electronic-health-and-medical-records/emr-vs-ehr-difference/.
Furthermore, an EMR contains clinical applications that can act on the data contained within this repository—for example, a clinical decision support system (CDSS), a computerized provider order entry system (CPOE), a controlled medical vocabulary, a results reporting system, etc. In general terms, EMRs are clinician-focused in that they enhance or augment the workflow of clinicians or administrators.
Excerpt from Rupasi S. Lloyd, Accepting the Inevitable: Trends, Expected Outcomes, and what to Look for as Electronic Health Record Implementation Goes Forward, 5 Teaching Hospitals & Academic Medical Centers 1, 11 (January 2007).