Introducing the electronic patient record (EPR) in a hospital setting: Boundary work and shifting constructions of professional identities

Department of Adult Learning and Counselling, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
Sociology of Health & Illness (Impact Factor: 1.88). 10/2011; 34(5):761-75. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2011.01413.x
Source: PubMed


Today's healthcare sector is being transformed by several ongoing processes, among them the introduction of new technologies, new financial models and new ways of organising work. The introduction of the electronic patient record (EPR) is representative and part of these extensive changes. Based on interviews with health personnel and office staff in a regional hospital in Norway, and with health administrators and information technology service-centre staff in the region, the article examines how the introduction of the EPR, as experienced by the participants, affects the work practices and boundaries between various professional groups in the healthcare system and discusses the implications this has for the understanding of medical practice. The article shows how the EPR has become part of the professionals' boundary work; expressing shifting constructions of professional identities.

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