The rules of virtuality and shareable electronic health records: experience from Australia and the UK
Shareable Electronic Health Records are frequently identified in policy, practice and academic discourse as one of the keys to the 'disruptive transformation' of health care delivery. It is assumed that replacing pen and paper as the medium of health records and rendering them in virtual form will make records 'portable, easily accessible, and interoperable' (Christensen, 2009). However, in practice the deployment and implementation of EHRs is proving highly problematic and controversial. In this paper we explore experiences in Australia and the UK based on on-going research being undertaken by the authors1. We suggest that at least part of the problems being encountered is the failure to take adequate account of what have been termed the 'rules of virtuality' (Woolgar, 2002).