Inside Knowledge Magazine /Knowledge Management Magazine Archive
Volume 6 Issue 4
The healthcare sector incorporates a huge variety of organisations: public-sector providers, governmental departments, private healthcare systems, not-for-profit bodies and charities – the list goes on. It is also incredibly knowledge-intensive, and the complexity of healthcare provision only increases as the industry’s knowledge base broadens. In addition, heightened levels of public expectation and media scrutiny add to the pressure to perform as efficiently and effectively as possible while maintaining an acceptable degree of transparency and accountability.
It is therefore not surprising that knowledge management is receiving so much attention from the industry. Public-sector and privately-funded organisations alike are turning to KM as a means to help them cope with day-to-day demands and increasing industry fragmentation. Last month, Tom Davenport outlined how Partners Health Care System in Boston had implemented an enormously successful expert-intervention KM solution, for example, while case studies this month from the UK’s NHS and Department of Health illustrate the drive towards modernisation and more effective collaborative working among public-sector healthcare systems.
Yet in spite of a growing acceptance of the benefits that knowledge management can bring and numerous instances of successful implementation, questions remain as to whether the industry as a whole has really come as far as many believe. Among the interpretations offered by our experts in this month’s Your Say feature is that understanding of the real issues relating to the discipline remains shallow, and that direct action often fails to tally with the rhetoric healthcare providers are employing. Our exploration of KM in the healthcare industry begins on page ten.
This month we also feature a profile of Warren Bennis, one of world’s foremost experts on leadership in a knowledge economy, together with articles from ABN Amro, Gilbert + Tobin and Xerox, plus the usual mix of news and reviews. In all, there should be plenty for you to digest until our next issue is published in the new year. And on that note, I’d like to wish all of our readers a happy and relaxing holiday season.
Your Say: KM in the healthcare industry
Healthcare provision is a knowledge-intensive business, and the consequences of an organisation failing to make best use of the knowledge assets at its disposal can be severe. Simon Lelic talks to representatives from the American Heart Association, Cilip, Fujitsu Services, Jenny Stephany Associates and the NHS, and gauges the impact of knowledge management in the healthcare industry so far.
Untangling the knowledge web
Managing knowledge in the NHS is like trying to knit with thousands of strands of knotted wool: data is held in a number of locations, managed by a variety of people and agencies, and stored in every imaginable format. Judy Aldred describes how nhs.uk is helping the organisation to deliver a more cohesive service to both its customers and its employees as part of a programme of improvements recommended by the recent Kennedy report.
Holistic KM at the Department of Health
The Department of Health recently embarked on an extensive programme to implement its KM strategy, which will ultimately impact upon every aspect of the agencys activities. Karen Lewis outlines the programmes key goals and methods, and reveals the progress the department has made so far.
A personal view of knowledge work
Web-logs, or blogs, as they have become known, range from the insightful and informative to the banal and nonsensical. Done well, though, a good blog can help generate valuable debate, and even create a community of interest around a given subject. Richard Cross offers his views on this very modern medium, before embarking on his own blogging soliloquy.
A world apart?
At least as much as any other industry, the legal sector is driven by knowledge, and law firms are beginning to recognise the importance of actively managing their most valuable asset. Yet attitudes towards knowledge management differ considerably between firms depending on the country in which they are based. Stuart Kay outlines the findings of a recent research project that sort to evaluate just how far apart US and UK firms are in terms of KM implementation.
Building a corporate KM community
Two years ago, a number of KM practitioners based in the Netherlands decided to create a platform that would allow them to exchange ideas and experiences on an ongoing basis. Paul Louis Iske reports on the progress of the Dutch KM Open community of practice, which includes representatives from ABN Amro, Ahold, Akzo Nobel, Baan, Corus, DSM, Heineken, Philips, Shell and Unilever.
From intranet to corporate portal [WEB ONLY ARTICLE]
Ford was an early adopter of the intranet as a tool and now boasts a company culture that is firmly established in its use. The next step was to find a better way to address employees personal and job needs by delivering more self-service capabilities and personalisation. Stan Kwiecien and Trish Buckley report on the development of Fords enterprise portal, my.ford.com.
The knowledge: Warren Bennis
Warren Bennis was originally scheduled to present a keynote presentation at this years KM Europe exhibition, before he was forced to withdraw on grounds of ill health. Now fully recovered, the man widely regarded as one of this centurys foremost leadership gurus spoke to Simon Lelic about his latest book and what he believes constitutes a great leader.
Five minutes with
Jacquie Bran, project manager with the Knowledge Management events team, spent five minutes talking to Tony Sheehan, group knowledge manager for Arup, about the companys experiences implementing a KM programme.
Country focus: Argentina
Simon Lelic talks to Pablo Belly, director of Belly Knowledge Management, about the evolution of knowledge management in Argentina.
Book review: Learning through Knowledge Management
Wido Bosch reviews Learning through Knowledge Management by Pervaiz Ahmed, Kwang Kok Lim & Ann Loh