Reassembling Electronic Patient Records after the National Programme for IT: contested visions and multiple enactments

  • Martin Clive Burns

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis is concerned with understanding how Electronic Patient Record systems (EPRs) are being problematised and enacted in NHS acute hospital Trusts following the dismantling of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT). The term EPR is widely used but has no uniform definition and has been applied to a wide range of systems. In policy, EPRs have often been envisaged as integrated, large-scale systems capable of transforming how healthcare is delivered. However, in practice such systems have proved difficult to achieve and many of the EPRs to be found in hospitals are much smaller standalone specialist departmental systems. Working with Actor-Network Theory (ANT), this thesis takes a sociotechnical approach in which differences in EPRs are understood as matters of ontology (variations in their enactment by multiple heterogeneous actors producing multiple, sometimes conflicting, realities) rather than matters of epistemology (differences in the interpretation of a single underlying reality).
Date of AwardApr 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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