9º World Congress on Health Information and Libraries

Salvador, Bahia - Brazil, September, 20 to 23 - 2005


4th Regional Coordination Meeting of the VHL

September, 19 to 20 - 2005

An answer shared is a problem solved: encouraging a knowledge sharing culture in the NHS


An answer shared is a problem solved: encouraging a knowledge sharing culture in the NHS

Within the NHS there is a wealth of wisdom, often unused, stored within its employees.  This knowledge has evolved through practical experience, and could have major benefits for local and even national health care practice in the UK.  However, unless this knowledge is easily accessible, it will remain within the memories of NHS employees, destined for retirement, maternity leave, or career change.  The management of knowledge is vital to the improvement of patient care.  The NHS is made up of many micro-organisations, and all of them have their own systems for carrying out procedures inline with government standards and guidelines.  Some will operate more efficiently, and it is this good practice that needs to be shared, so that NHS professionals can apply it to their own practice.  Sharing knowledge on a local or national level will lead to improved efficiency and quality, better team-working, and i mproved patient care.
To encourage NHS health professionals to share their knowledge, two web-sites were commissioned, and an information scientist was appointed to search for suitable content.
The Knowledge Management Research (KMR) web-site provides access to summaries of quality research on knowledge management, when applied in health care settings.  The aim is to provide evidence of how health care organizations are managing the knowledge of clinical and non-clinical staff.
The National Library for Health Specialist Library for Knowledge Management aims to provide practical support for the implementation of KM in the NHS.  The web-site contains access to case studies of good practice, tools to implement KM, relevant reading lists, and a virtual community with a weblog to promote knowledge management within the NHS and encourage discussion and share ideas.
Together with the virtual community, both sites hope to provide a practical, research-based environment for implementing k nowledge management throughout the National Health Service.