WA Health system

Digital medical record (DMR)

What is a digital medical record?

A digital medical record (DMR) is a patient record that can be viewed on a computer screen, including a desktop, laptop or tablet. It replaces patients’ paper medical record. It includes a combination of:

  • computer entered electronic forms (eForms)
  • scanned copies of paper forms such as nursing observations, medication charts etc
  • reports published electronically from other WA health applications
  • “deep links” to other WA health applications.

Digital medical records will allow clinicians real time access to patient information all in one place. Clinicians will be able to enter information electronically and via scanned forms, as well as view a variety of clinical notes, assessments, medical histories, diagnostic test results, and other patient information, which will assist their ability to make safe and informed clinical decisions.

Find out which WA Health hospitals and health sites have a DMR (PDF 2MB).

What is an electronic medical record (EMR)?

An electronic medical record (EMR) is a safe, intuitive, consumer-focused system that clinicians use to fulfil their consumer-care duties, without reliance on paper. It is both a medical record and a suite of capabilities that support clinical decisions and workflows.

As a consumer, holding records digitally in an EMR means your team can access your health information in real time and in different locations. An EMR will be used by your healthcare team to record and access information to monitor, diagnose, treat, and manage illness, and support your health and wellbeing.

An EMR can deliver considerable benefits to the WA health system that include:

  • improved patient safety and quality of care
  • service improvement
  • sustainable healthcare
  • improved patient, clinician and community experience and outcomes.

View our WA Health Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Consumer Charter (PDF 3MB) that highlights the priorities of an EMR for consumers, carers and the community.

The time involved in moving all the WA health system to an EMR is significant. Therefore, the direction supported across WA Health will see us take a staged approach to implementing an EMR. The EMR journey commences with, amongst other things, DMR, enabling more immediate benefits to be realised for patients and workforce while planning for the longer term EMRs across WA Health.

What is the difference between an electronic medical record (EMR) and an electronic health record (EHR)?

The terms EMR and EHR are used interchangeably.

An EMR contains information that is created and resides within a single healthcare organisation e.g. WA Health system.

An EHR contains information that can be managed, added to and accessed across multiple healthcare organisations (e.g. My Health Record)


Last reviewed: 31-08-2022

Electronic Medical Record Program

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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