“In the nineteenth century health was transformed by clear, clean water. In the twenty-first century, health will be transformed by clean clear knowledge.”
Sir Muir Gray Kt, CBE, DSc, MD, FRCPSGlas, FCLIP
former NHS Chief Knowledge Officer
Knowledge management (KM) enables access to knowledge, information, experience and best practice in health and social care. Clinicians and managers alike rely heavily on knowledge management expertise for support; clinical staff in particular face a constant challenge in keeping up to date with the latest research and guidelines in their particular fields.
Knowledge management is important in healthcare for many reasons:
Improved performance: Good knowledge management practitioners allow more rapid systems development; help to reduce duplication of effort and reinventing solutions; reduce repetition of mistakes; help to avoid common errors; and resolve problems faster.
Improved culture: Good knowledge management facilitates leaders aligning knowledge management with organisational goals; it enables connections between the right people; knowledge management also promotes networking with like-minded individuals across the organisations and the wider NHS.
Increased learning: Using the experience of others to develop good practice and things to avoid is the result of knowledge management. Practitioners also facilitate access to the people with the skills, experience and know-how that is lacking.
Increased innovation: Practitioners operating good knowledge management enable disparate ideas and approaches to come together and to be organised coherently for the benefit of the organisation.
The HICF includes example job descriptions and outlines required skills and KSF competencies for knowledge management related roles within health and social care. You can map your career, plan your development, and read case studies for how others have developed their careers or staff using the framework.
The NHS Careers website offers advice about the various roles available in knowledge management.
The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals, the professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers, offers advice about careers, qualifications, jobs and training.