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Conclusion

The EPR and its complex web of socio-political and institutional relationships presents the researcher with some tricky challenges. One possible response is to render it more 'simple' (by, for example, focusing on the computer as a 'black box'), turning a blind eye to some of the inherent complexity. An alternative response is to seek out ways of embracing and investigating this complexity explicitly - linguistic ethnography offers one such approach. It has not been my intention to describe my methods, methodology and conceptual framework in full detail here. However, I hope I have succeeded in drawing attention to the nature of the analytic challenges raised by the EPR, and have made a persuasive case for considering the EPR not as 'computer' or 'data container' but as ongoing social practice which shapes care (and is shaped by it) both in the micro-detail of the interaction and more widely in general practice organisations.

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