XML (Extensible Markup Language)
Used for defining data elements on a web page and communication between two business systems. XML enables messaging within an EMR system and integration with another software application such as a practice management system or drug formulary database.
UPIN (Unique Physician Identification Number)
Unique identification number given to each healthcare provider. Frequently used in insurance billing and is currently being replaced by the NPI number.
UB-92 Form
Form designed for rural hospitals to file a medical claim with a patient's insurance carrier.
A network-capable, multi-user operating system for workstations and servers. Many old practice management, medical billing and EMR software systems were originally designed to run a UNIX operating system.
Thin Client
Sometimes also called a "lean" or "slim client", is a client computer or client software in client-server architecture networks which depends primarily on the central server for processing activities, and mainly focuses on conveying input and output between the user and the remote server. In contrast, a thick or fat client does as much processing as possible and passes only data for communications and storage to the server.
Terminal Services
Microsoft's method for remote administration tasks that delivers the Windows desktop and Windows-based applications to nearly any personal computing device, even devices that can't run Windo ws.
T1, T3 Line
A high-speed Internet connection provided via telephone lines. Often used by businesses requiring Internet connection speeds (bandwidth) greater than those provided by a DSL or Cable connection.
Structured Query Language ? A computer code set whose purpose is to access, retrieve and manipulate data stored in relational databases.
An e-prescribing exchange owned by Allscripts. Links drug databases and enables electronic prescribing through a secure network. Founded in 2001 by NACDS to make the prescribing process safer and more efficient.
(SNOMED CT) Systemized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms ? SNOMED CT is the universal health care terminology. It is comprehensive and covers procedures, diseases, and clinical data. SNOMED CT helps to structure and computerize the medical record. It provides a consistent way of indexing, storing, retrieving and aggregating clinical data across multiple care sites (e.g., hospitals, doctors' offices, and specialty practices). By standardizing the terminology, the variability in the way data is captured, encoded and used for clinical care of patients and research is reduced. Allows for more accurate reporting of data. It is currently available in English, Spanish and German.
Remote Access
Data travels through a private, protected passage via the Internet, allowing healthcare providers to access an EMR system from home or another practice location. EMR system vendors may set up a different version of remote access that allows them to perform system maintenance at a distance (off site).
RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks)
A way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks. Often used on servers to provide redundancy in the event of a hard drive failure.
Physician Practice Organization (PPO)
An arrangement between insurers and healthcare providers whereby providers agree to discounted fees for their services in exchange for more patients.
Patient Portal
A secure web-based system that allows a patient to register for an appointment, schedule an appointment, request prescription refills, send and receive secure patient-physician messages, view lab results, or pay bills electronically.
Picture Archive Communication System (PACS)
Used by radiology and diagnostic imaging organizations to electronically manage information and images.
NCHIT (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology)
Federal agency created by Executive Order 13335 (April 27, 2004) and further implemented by the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act of (2009) (ARRA). ONCHIT is charged with developing a nationwide HIT infrastructure that improves health care quality, reduces health care costs, and protects patient health information.
National Provider Identifier (NPI)
A unique number used to identify all healthcare providers.
Clinical documentation nomenclature designed to provide E&M Level coding assistance to providers through the use of an extensive database for documenting patient encounters.
LOINC (Logical Observation Identifiers, Names and Codes)
The purpose of LOINC® is to facilitate the exchange and pooling of clinical results for clinical care, outcomes management, and research by providing a set of universal codes and names to identify laboratory and other clinical observations. The Regenstrief Institute, Inc., an internationally renowned healthcare and informatics research organization, maintains the LOINC database and supporting documentation, as well as the RELMA mapping program.
Local Install (a/k/a Locally-Installed System or Client Server System)
A computer system in which software resides on a client server that is located onsite. You must purchase or lease a client server, configure it, and then install and configure your software applications. Most EMR/PM system vendors offer both an ASP option and a locally-installed option, but some offer only an ASP solution. For more on ASP systems, see "ASP" above.
Legacy System
Term used to describe an old computer system (usually hardware and software). For example, an existing medical billing software system (Practice Management System).
Acronym for Independent Physician Association or Independent Practice Association. Group of independent physicians that have joined together to negotiate contracts with payors and services services providers on a group basis.
Internationally recognizable 3- to 5-digit code representing medical diagnoses. Will be replaced by the ICD-10 code set.
Hybrid Record
Term used to describe a mixed paper and electronic medical record as a healthcare provider transitions from paper charting to exclusive use of EMR.
HL7 (Health Level 7)
One of the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) accredited Standards Developing Organization (SDO). HL7 provides standards for the electronic exchange of clinical, financial and administrative information among healthcare computer systems. The most widely-adopted HL7 standard covers messaging among disparate health care applications in order to exchange key sets of clinical and administrative data. HL7 promotes the use of standards within and among healthcare organizations to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare delivery. HL7 also includes an international community of healthcare subject matter experts and information technologists who collaborate to create standards for the exchange, management and integration of electronic healthcare information.
Acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. A federal law and corresponding set of federal regulations that govern the use and protection of healthcare information.
HCFA (CMS-1500 Form)
The insurance claim form that a healthcare provider submits to an insurance company.
Growth Chart
A pediatric feature within EMR systems that monitors growth patterns for and provides clinical prompts based on those patterns.
A leading provider of drug databases within EMR systems.
Fee-For-Service Plan
A health insurance plan that allows policyholders to pay for any provider service at the time of service, submit a claim to the insurance company, and get reimbursed if the service is covered by their insurance.
Fee Schedule
A set of maximum fees that an insurance company will pay a healthcare provider for various services rendered.
Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
A statement from the patient's insurance company that breaks down services rendered at the time of a doctor or hospital visit and amounts covered by insurance.
Electronic Health Record (EHR)
Also known as EMR (Electronic Medical Record) and CPR (Computer-Based Patient Record). A computerized record of a patient's chart, containing the same information as a paper chart.
Electronic Eligibility
Provides up-to-date insurance verification and eligibility information on patients.
Acronym for Electronic Medical Record. Also known as EHR (Electronic Health Record) and CPR (Computer-Based Patient Record). A computerized record of a patient's chart, containing the same information as a paper chart.
EDI Clearinghouse
Electronic Data Interchange Clearinghouse. Company that processes claims and sends them out to payors, expediting reimbursement. Some of the more popular EDI clearinghouses include Emdeon/WebMD, McKesson, Navicure and THIN.
Acronym for Electronic Data Interchange. Facilitates the electronic exchange of information between two parties.
E/M Level Coding
Evaluation and Management Level Coding. Documentation of each patient visit that identifies each service provided during the visit.
Drug Formulary Database
Database containing information on formulary and non-formulary medications, regardless of payor. Uses a centralized "hub" to collect and maintain formulary and drug composition information, facilitating optimal medication choices when a patient's payor formulary and netowrk information is taken into consideration.
Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine. A standard to define the connectivity and communication parameters between medical imaging devices. DICOM is also used to describe the type of "viewer" necesary to view DICOM images such as x-rays.
CPT Code
A nationally recognizable five-digit number used to represent a service provided by a healthcare provider.
Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE)

A system and process allowing physicians to electronically place orders for lab tests, imaging requests, prescriptions, etc. Physicians must utilize CPOE in order to be eligible for ARRA EMR reimbursements.

Computer-Based Patient Record (CPR)
Also known as EMR (Electronic Medical Record) and EHR (Electronic Health Record). A computerized record of a patient's chart, containing the same information as a paper chart.
Clinical Health Record (CHR)
Contains information regarding the patient across multiple providers regardless of EMR used by a provider. Usually a compilation of claims-based data such as past medication history, problem lists, allergies, etc., across the patients care continuum.
Client Server
A network architecture which separates the client (workstation) from the server. A client server is located on premises. If you want a locally installed EMR/PM system, you will need to purchase or lease a client server. For more on locally installed EMR/PM systems, see "Local Install" below.
Acronym for Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology. For a time, was the only recognized certification authority for EMR software systems. With the passage of ARRA, additional EMR system certification authorities have been established. ARRA EMR reimbursements are tied to "meaningful use" of "certified" EMR systems.
Citrix Server
A server solution, similar to Microsoft Terminal Services, that provides remote access to clients via the web or terminals in a network.
Capitated Payments
Payment for healthcare services based on the number of patients who are covered for specific services over a specified period of time rather than the cost or number of services that are actually provided.
BMI Charts (Body Mass Index Charts)

EMR systems can automatically calculate BMI from inputted height and weight information. BMI is used by an EMR system to generate prompts to clinicians regarding preventive health and disease management protocols.

PASP (Application Service Provider)
A business that provides computer-based services to customers over a network, typically the Internet. Allows you to run a software application "remotely"; that is, without its being installed on your local system. Most EMR/PM system vendors offer both an ASP option and a locally-installed option, but some offer only an ASP solution. For more on locally-installed systems, see "Local Install" below.