Implementing Best Practices for Knowledge Management in Healthcare
Elevate your healthcare practice by embracing the latest knowledge management best practices—improve collaboration, streamline workflows, and enhance patient outcomes.
Updated January 25, 2024.
In healthcare, effective knowledge management makes sure that the correct information reaches the right people at the right point of care. But that's difficult when your information is being passed over email or across different disconnected systems, storage folders, or intranets without any formal system in place.
That’s why we’ll explore the best practices for implementing knowledge management in healthcare. By putting practices like this in place, you can improve efficiency across departments and have a positive impact on patient care.
» See how C8 Health can make life easier for your medical team.
Meet the Expert
Ido Zamberg M.D. is a board-certified physician (General Internal Medicine and Anesthesia), currently a Fellow at the Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Canada.
Understanding Knowledge Management in Healthcare
Knowledge management in healthcare involves managing and organizing educational, clinical, operational, administrative, and practical knowledge efficiently, ensuring it reaches relevant points of care.
- Educational: Covers residency curriculum, procedural videos, exam materials and more.
- Clinical: Includes protocols and system policies & procedures for optimal patient care.
- Operational: Guides on how to operate medical devices.
- Administrative: Encompasses various forms for specific patients and situations, including setting and following up with schedules.
- Practical: Offers hands-on guides, case studies, and simulation exercises.
This diverse knowledge range creates a comprehensive but sometimes fragmented landscape within the departments, hospitals, and hospital systems.
» Streamline collaboration with C8 Health's data-driven features.
5 Best Practices for Implementing Knowledge Management in Healthcare
1. Centralizing Knowledge
Centralizing knowledge means having all types of content in one place. At the moment, a lot of healthcare facilities disseminate information by email, meetings, or word of mouth. The most efficient approach is having a single, reliable source of information for all administrative, clinical, operational, and educational queries.
This central repository, like a knowledge management system, should be integrated into the workflow, making it easy for healthcare professionals to access the information they need.
2. Vetting Local Knowledge
Having a central system for information will only work if it's filled with information you trust. That's where local vetting comes in. So your centralized system needs to comprise information relevant to your site that has been approved by someone you know and trust. This is especially important in acute settings where you don't have the time to research.
3. Integrating with Workflow
Healthcare professionals need to be able to access the information they need directly from their workspace. This means that the knowledge management system is designed in a way that fits seamlessly into their daily routines and processes.
The benefit of this approach is that you get quick and efficient access to information, no matter whether you're working in a stationary setting, like a general ward, or an acute setting such as the ICU. It eliminates the need for time-consuming searches, improving efficiency and patient care.
4. Breaking Departmental Silos
There are often separate systems for educational, clinical, operational, and administrative materials, creating silos. This can make it difficult for healthcare professionals to access the information they need. Everyone should have access to the entire knowledge base of a hospital because care is often multidisciplinary.
For instance, a patient with multiple chronic conditions might require coordinated care from cardiologists, endocrinologists, and nephrologists. In such cases, you need to break down knowledge silos between departments.
This is particularly important in acute settings, where healthcare professionals may not have a lot of time to search for information. By breaking down these silos, healthcare institutions can ensure more efficient access and dissemination of information, improving patient care.
5. Differentiating Knowledge for Specific Sites
As a healthcare provider, you may work across various sites, each with its own policies and procedures. It’s important to understand the specific practices relevant to each site you work at.
So if a site has a protocol that's proven to improve patient outcomes, the system should quickly implement it across all sites. This approach ensures that best practices are shared and implemented system-wide, leading to improved patient care across all sites.
» Make your hospital's protocols accessible to everyone in real-time with C8 Health.
The Role of Technology in Knowledge Management
Technology helps us manage information in healthcare. It makes it easier to create, store, share, and use knowledge. This is really important because healthcare can be complex, mistakes can happen, and there’s always new information to learn.
A centralized knowledge management system is the most efficient solution to close this gap and improve healthcare. Finding answers becomes seamless with one source of clinical, operational, administrative, practical, and educational information.
C8 Health has been designed to easily organize, manage, and disseminate information through a single source. It breaks down the silos in knowledge management, resulting in quick and easy access to information. It accommodates any type and format of content.
C8 Health was really useful during the COVID-19 pandemic. It helped train healthcare professionals on how to treat the disease. When there were new guidelines, the system sent out notifications. This meant that healthcare professionals could stay up-to-date with the latest information.
A study even showed that as more people were hospitalized with COVID-19, more healthcare professionals used the platform.
An Effective Knowledge Management System
An ideal knowledge management system should be centralized, providing a single, reliable source of information accessible from the workspace. It should be trustworthy, updated in real-time, and immediately applicable to patient care.
There should be no delay between the release of new guidelines and their implementation, ensuring the delivery of the most effective and current care to patients.
With tools like C8 Health, healthcare institutions can have best practices in place to manage knowledge efficiently, ensuring that the correct information reaches the right points of care at the right time.