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Knowledge Management in Healthcare - Essay Example

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Healthcare is a vastly growing and fast evolving discipline, continuously creating, utilizing and mobilizing explicit knowledge traffic. As it develops, its attributes and operating system become more complex-posing both a trajectory to advanced medical processes, and at the same time, challenges in managing and controlling the knowledge assets it produces, all for making it more accessible and relevant to its practitioners and customers.
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Knowledge Management in Healthcare
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Download file to see previous pages This paper would expound on the need for and how Knowledge Management is adopted in healthcare, what problems does it address, what are the considerations to maximize its total benefits, what factors may hinder it from being an effective tool in effecting development in the field of healthcare and what are the importance of transferring the explicit knowledge..
"Healthcare organizations are facing many challenges in the 21st Century due to changes taking place in global healthcare systems. Spiraling costs, financial constraints, increased emphasis on accountability and transparency, changes in education, growing complexities of biomedical research, new partnerships in healthcare and great advances in IT suggest that a predominant paradigm shift is occurring. This shift is necessitating a focus on interaction, collaboration and increased sharing of information and knowledge which is in turn leading healthcare organizations to embrace the techniques of Knowledge Management in order to create and sustain optimal healthcare." (Sharma et al., 2005)
Indeed healthcare plays by the rules of the economy and the society too, it lends itself vulnerable to the limitations of the body administering it. As acquiring information does not come without a cost, readily available yet reliable information are sought for, thus the role of Knowledge Management to regulate and pass on information. (Tandon, Angrish, Anand, 2006)
Knowledge Management, though having relative definitions sums up the process of creating, controlling, channeling and transferring knowledge assets to address competitive advantage and optimal performance. (Morgan, Doyle, Albers, 2005)
In healthcare, most especially in nursing care, knowledge continuity is posed as an organizational challenge. In the US, there is a high turnover rate among hospital staff-already amounting to 20% (Morgan et al., 2005). This dynamics breaks the links of transferring knowledge from old to new employees leading to poor acquisition or transfer of valuable knowledge assets. In basic terms, knowledge is shared through a "traditional scholastic medical education" through "textbook based" learning, and acquiring lessons through experience and mentorship. Although this, in the beginning, could let the workers harness best business practices, it could also mean lack of diversification in knowledge unless branching out to different hospital units is initiated.
"There are a number of organizational benefits to KCM [Knowledge Continuity Management] such as decreasing job turnover costs, increasing organizational effectiveness, improving training for new employees, facilitation of organizational learning, speeding the maximal productivity of new employees, and improving the decision making and decreasing the process errors of new employees." (Morgan et al., 2 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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