Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (2):227-236 (2020)

Use of electronic health records within clinical encounters is increasingly pervasive. The digital record allows for data storage and sharing to facilitate patient care, billing, research, patient communication and quality-of-care improvement—all at once. However, this multifunctionality is also one of the main reasons care providers struggle with the EHR. These problems have often been described but are rarely approached from a philosophical point of view. We argue that a postphenomenological case study of the EHR could lead to more in-depth insights. We will focus on two concepts—transparency and multistability—and translate them to the specific situation of the EHR. Transparency is closely related to an embodiment relation in which the user becomes less aware of the technology: it fades into the background, becoming a means of experience. A second key concept is that of multistability, referring to how a technology can serve multiple purposes or can have different meanings in different contexts. The EHR in this sense is multistable by design. Future EHR design could incorporate multistable information differently, allowing the provider to focus on patient care when interacting with the EHR. Moreover we argue that the use of the EHR in the daily workflow should become more transparent, while awareness of the computer in the specific context of the patient-provider relationship should increase.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11019-019-09923-5
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 51,554
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

ARGOS Policy Brief on Semantic Interoperability.Dipak Kalra, Mark Musen, Barry Smith & Werner Ceusters - 2011 - Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 170 (1):1-15.
The Elephant in the Living Room of the House of Health Care.Richard D. Lamm - 2004 - American Journal of Bioethics 4 (3):101-102.


Added to PP index

Total views
4 ( #1,171,671 of 2,331,156 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #589,978 of 2,331,156 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes