Clinical Informatics

The Challenge of Knowledge Management at the Point of Care


  1. Introduction, Definitions and The Intricacies of knowledge Management at the Point of Care.

  2. The interplay between knowledge management, health informatics and evidence based medicine.

  3. The cost and benefits to the organisations and individuals involved.

  4. Conclusions

  5. References

Cost benefit of Knowledge Management at the Point of Care

Change in work culture

The main challenge in implementing the above solutions would be the change in work practice and culture. Clinicians have traditionally managed their information along the " personalisation strategy" which is closely tied to the person who developed it and is shared mainly via person-to-person contact.(16)

To change this to a "codification strategy" to keep up with the rapid generation and evolution of information would require a long of investment in time and effort to explain the changes needed in order to improve patient care and improve efficiency to clinicians. Without end-user buy-in, any organisational change is unlikely to be sustainable or successful.

Benefits to the Clinicians

The benefit of having an integrated knowledge management system to the practicing physician is many-fold. Apart from addressing the immediate problem of information overload, it would also be a new avenue of self-directed learning and professional development.

It would allow the clinician to use the best available evidence and tailor that to the individual patients being treated. Appropriate treatment and investigation would reduce errors as well as costs from unnecessary tests and referrals.

From the patientsí perspective, the use of such a system should result in better care.

There is no documented evidence that the patientsí confidence in the medical team would be affected by the use of such a system.

Other costs

The cost of the implementation of these solutions would mainly be financial in terms of hardware, licensing and IT support. The large bulk of this commitment should have already been met by the on-going national Connecting for Health project.

Investment in this area can also be justified by the managers as part of the overriding NHS Plan.(15) In the long run, the majority of the cost would come from the technical support and other maintenance cost of the system. There would also need to be a fund set aside for the training of new staff joining the organisation.

As with other organisational change projects, ownership and buy-in are essential for long-term success and sustainability of the project.

Audit of the use and impact of the system would also be an important part of the implementation in order to identify any areas for improvement and to feed back to future development of the system.

An audit would also be an efficient way to show the improvements that have resulted from the use of the system and to promote continued adherence to the new practise.


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Page Updated: 17 May, 2017

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