Role of Knowledge Management System In Healthcare IndustryEstimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes
While knowledge management systems use Information Technologies (IT) to manage the creation, storage, sharing, and use/reuse of knowledge; health care presents a special challenge to the use of KM such as system complexity, the impact of medical errors, substantial growth of knowledge in the medical field, and an increased health care cost. The concept of knowledge management allows experts and hospitals to use global methodologies to meet medical needs. Proper utilization of knowledge helps future generations to learn from previous mistakes and to design innovative solutions.
Need for Knowledge Management In Healthcare Industry
Healthcare is a knowledge-driven industry. A great amount of knowledge and expertise is required to treat every individual patient’s unique symptoms. For instance, there are currently 5,627 registered hospitals in the U.S., with a collective total of 12,440,670 employees. Every single one of these employees must be trained when they begin new jobs or transfer to clinics or hospitals and continue being trained throughout their careers as treatments and procedures evolve. The following three reasons scratch the surface of why adopting a healthcare knowledge management solution is crucial to providing the best possible care and experience to patients:
Boost Operational Efficiency
The hospital call agents with access to reliable, up-to-date information have shorter calls. It cuts time searching and curtails wait times for patients. An efficient knowledge management system such as PHPKB improves operational efficiencies across customer service operations (frontline and back-office) with consistent customer experiences. It also gives management easy oversight with a branded dashboard, feedback, and reporting measures.
- Support employees to provide better service via secure internal chat and content sharing
- Helps in maintaining up-to-date compliance forms and procedures across the organization
- Reduce overall operating costs
Empowered Decision Making
Healthcare professionals are constantly overwhelmed with new information, but struggle to find the information at the right time. Organized information in the healthcare industry can literally save lives, if professionals have the ability to quickly access it from anywhere, anytime. An advanced and meticulously organized healthcare knowledge management solution allows this doctor to immediately search for and identify symptoms, procedures, and other valuable information that could forever change the lives of patients for the better. For instance, doctors see up to 50 patients per day. There is rarely time within individual appointments to track down and consult other doctors. A doctor can be perplexed with a patient's symptoms and rather than giving the medical care only on his own experience and assumption, the doctor can see the knowledge of every other medical professional in the hospital through an efficient knowledge management system. It is more likely that another doctor has seen this set of symptoms in a patient and has some valuable suggestions on what steps to take next.
As staff leave or are laid off, their knowledge of procedures and current best practices leave with them, resulting in a higher frequency of mistakes. A mistake in the healthcare industry can lead to serious consequences such as tragedy or a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Healthcare knowledge management solutions allow hospitals to completely standardize all procedures and provide easily accessible training on these procedures. If the knowledge-sharing solution has a powerful search and mobile interface, doctors, nurses, and medical technicians can access procedures at a moment’s notice, while on the go.
A knowledge-sharing system allows different experts to learn from each other. Medical information from different professionals can be transformed into an electronic format and can be used by doctors for better treatment. Knowledge management techniques standardize all processes and make professional education more accessible. Knowledge sharing solution is very useful in the medical industry when the errors are very expensive and critical.
However, the digital transition presents new threats to patients’ privacy, the doctor/patient relationship, and doctor/patient confidentiality. So, how do medical professionals collaborate and learn from each other’s past and present cases without violating these relationships? A knowledge management solution allows healthcare providers to document and share symptoms, or any other information that may be helpful while keeping the patient anonymous. This way, potentially life-saving knowledge is not off-limits, and patients' privacy remains protected.
Builds Learning Organizations
"To move ahead, one must often first look behind”
This implies the need to create a data-driven continuous-learning environment that supports organizational learning based on experience. A learning organization is an organization where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together. Organizational research over the past two decades has revealed three broad factors that are essential for organizational learning and adaptability: a supportive learning environment, concrete learning processes and practices, and leadership behavior that provides reinforcement. The employees can continuously assess our successes and our failures as we strive to continuously improve. This creates a culture that learns from experience based on a data-driven assessment of performance and outcomes. Learning from experience builds knowledge that can then be used to improve care and streamline operations over time.
Stimulate Cultural Change and Innovations
The doctors can use medical achievements from distinct cultures that fit their strategy to help different patients and face new challenges. Sometimes doctors need to cure rare diseases and global collaboration helps to save somebody’s life. A collaboration platform makes them open to do things differently and use other’s experiences to promote productivity. A knowledge management program will help medical professionals to accept changes and motivate innovative ideas.
There is not a single industry or organization that would not benefit from adopting a powerful knowledge management solution. Every type of organization should have a searchable wealth of knowledge, standardized, accessible procedures, and increased collaboration.
In the wake of the digital transition in the medical field, a healthcare knowledge management solution is not optional; it’s imperative.