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Reducing Healthcare Costs Through Knowledge Management Systems

Concrete, evidence-based care has been shown to improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of care. But how can healthcare institutions streamline this knowledge?

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By Ido Zamberg, MD
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Edited by Jessica Ross
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Fact-check by C8 Staff

Published November 20, 2023.

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Evidence-based care has a consistent track record of improving patient outcomes and cutting down healthcare costs. However, the real challenge for healthcare institutions lies in effectively implementing this valuable knowledge across their systems. This ensures that every healthcare decision is consistent, informed, and based on the most current and relevant evidence. 

The goal is not just to organize and share knowledge, but to embed it into the very fabric of the healthcare delivery process.

It calls for a core platform that doesn't just tell healthcare providers about the best evidence-based practices but also makes sure they actually stick to them. Let's dive into how knowledge management systems can reduce healthcare costs.

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.

How Knowledge Management Systems Can Reduce Healthcare Costs

Knowledge management systems can play a vital role in reducing healthcare costs by helping organizations improve patient care, increase efficiency, and streamline processes.

Outcomes include reduced mortality rates, lower readmission rates, shorter hospital and ICU stays, and a decreased need for rehabilitative therapy.

Evidence-Based Practices

Knowledge management systems can significantly improve patient care by providing healthcare professionals with easy access to the latest medical research, evidence-based practices, and clinical guidelines.

This access to up-to-date knowledge empowers healthcare providers to make informed decisions, implement effective treatment plans, and deliver personalized care, leading to improved patient outcomes.

For instance, a knowledge management system might provide physicians with real-time access to clinical decision support tools, enabling them to make more accurate diagnoses, prescribe appropriate medications, and avoid unnecessary tests or procedures.

This, in turn, can reduce the risk of medical errors, complications, and adverse events, contributing to lower mortality rates.

Optimized Resource Utilization

Knowledge management systems promote efficient management of healthcare resources by providing insights into resource utilization patterns, identifying areas of waste or inefficiency, and enabling data-driven decision-making. This optimization of resources leads to cost savings without compromising patient care.

Streamlined Administrative Processes

Automate repetitive tasks, simplify workflows, and provide easy access to patient information with knowledge management systems. It improves efficiency by making it easier for healthcare professionals to find the information they need when and where they need it. And it can lead to reduced workloads and improved job satisfaction for healthcare professionals.

The reduction in administrative burden frees up healthcare professionals to focus on patient care, improving efficiency and reducing labor costs.

Better operational management

By making more informed decisions and streamlining care processes, hospital and ICU stays can be shortened. Knowledge management systems can also help to streamline communication and protocols in the operating room, leading to more efficient procedures and reduced operating room time. What's more, they can improve coordination and protocol adherence, preventing surgery cancellations due to optimal patient and team preparedness.

Dr. Daniel Katz (Vice Chair of Education, Department of Anesthesia, Mount Sinai) shares his experience of improving patient care and reducing costs because he had access to actionable information in the OR:

Tips for Implementing a Knowledge Management System in Healthcare

Choose a Purpose-Built Solution

Use a knowledge management solution like C8 Health that's explicitly designed for healthcare. This solution should effectively manage and disseminate healthcare-specific content. Key features should include:

  • Locally vetted information to ensure healthcare professionals are following their hospital's guidelines.
  • Availability on both desktop and mobile to enhance accessibility.
  • Dynamic content and formats that are interactive and actionable.
  • Automatic notifications when any changes are made so teams remain updated.
  • Data and analytics dashboard to track how well protocols are implemented.

Overall, a purpose-built knowledge management system with these key features can help healthcare organizations improve patient care, reduce costs, and make better use of resources.

Focus on Knowledge Dissemination

Prioritize the dissemination of knowledge to healthcare professionals at the point of service, ensuring easy access and application. This includes:

  • Using push notifications and other real-time alerts to notify healthcare professionals of new knowledge that is relevant to their patients. This will help to ensure that healthcare professionals are always up-to-date on the latest evidence-based practices.
  • Creating user-friendly interfaces that make it easy for healthcare professionals to search for and access knowledge. Consider AI-powered search functions and mobile responsiveness.

» Still stuck on implementation? Try these knowledge management strategies

Accessible Knowledge to Reduce Healthcare Costs 

Knowledge management systems hold significant potential for reducing healthcare costs while concurrently enhancing the quality of care. Leveraging these systems to promote awareness and adherence to evidence-based practices empowers healthcare organizations to achieve substantial savings and, most importantly, improved patient outcomes. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, embracing purpose-built knowledge management solutions becomes a strategic step toward cost-effective and high-quality care.