Tag Archives: knowledge management

Taking a Forward View

“Knowledge specialists can play a pivotal role in mobilising knowledge and evidence effectively” so states the article Forward view: advancing health library and knowledge services in England in the March 2018 edition of the Health Information and Libraries Journal.  As part of a series of articles exploring international perspectives and initiatives, new directions for health library and knowledge services in England are considered.

Sue Lacey Bryant and colleagues explore how we will meet user expectations and examine access to digital content and services.  The ongoing need for information skills training and provision of attractive learning spaces for collaboration and knowledge sharing is acknowledged.  Steps already being taken to empower patients and the public are described including collaboration with the voluntary sector and public libraries to facilitate access to high-quality patient information.   As traditional tasks around evaluating and targeting evidence to update colleagues becomes increasingly mechanised so time is released for knowledge specialists to take on more embedded roles encouraging knowledge and learning to be shared more effectively.  Funding and quality are discussed and the shift in focus from counting to demonstrating the impact of services on organisational objectives and patient outcomes is explained.  An exploration of the work taking place to develop the workforce who will deliver the transformed library and knowledge services of the future is included.

In conclusion it is predicted that there is “a bright future in which librarians’ expertise is used to mobilise evidence, manage and share knowledge, support patients, carers and families, optimise technology and social media and provide a keystone for improved patient care and safety”.

To find out more read the full article. (CILIP HLG Members can access the journal as part of their membership entitlement)

Lacey Bryant, S. et al. 2018. Forward view: advancing health library and knowledge services in England.  Health Information and Libraries Journal, Volume 35, Issue 1, p. 70–77

Institutional Repositories – keep it simple!

The reason for being involved in the creation of an Institutional Repository

Creating an Institutional Repository (IR) is about connecting people to people, building on the external reputation of your organisation and increasing access to health and care research funded by public money.

You can chose from bespoke software systems, content management systems, library management systems (LMS), or more straight-forward solutions, for example, Excel spreadsheets and Access databases.

Why I chose to use my LMS for an IR.

  • I wanted to keep it simple.
  • I didn’t want to make the IR a silo. I wanted to raise awareness of knowledge outputs to help put people in touch with one another, and raise awareness of library and knowledge services at the board and throughout the organisation.
  • I wanted to do it within my current budget.
  • Using my LMS means customers find staff papers when they are looking for books on a topic, this is an added bonus.
  • As long as the outputs can be found, for me, the system is not the most important thing. I felt it was better to do it, rather than wait for a gold standard system which may not be affordable.
  • I wasn’t convinced a new system would offer us enough added value, or could offer much more than my LMS could offer. Our system is web-based.
  • To buy a bespoke system would not just cost an initial outlay, but ongoing maintenance costs and potentially storage costs too.
  • Using our LMS increases the scope of the system and provides additional justification for its maintenance.
  • My longer term plan is to link to open access articles where they are available. If I can’t link to full text access, I can still raise awareness of the research. The full text can be sourced though the library.
  • If the research is already available via a university repository or an organisation’s internet page, I plan to explore if I can link to it. However if the content is in PubMed Central, I will link to that, as I hope the links are less likely to break.
  • I don’t store the full-text, I would need additional storage space on our server and copyright can complicate this.
  • Cross linking is important to me, to make the content easy to find. Like many LMS I can create links to specific collections. I have a link which displays all staff papers via our Trust research department.

Hints and Tips to get going

  • The time it takes to set up an IR will depend on how research active or publication active your organisation is.
  • Try and pick a system that won’t become another legacy system or a silo, use one your Trust can easily support.
  • Start with items in the public domain and build on that if you can.
  • Start with staff papers as they are relatively easy to find. Begin by importing citations and use author affiliation searches.
  • Start with the current year; then build on this as far back as you need/want.
  • Seek work experience, college/university work placements and pre-employment placement opportunities, these can help you get an IR up and running and to help maintain it.
  • Consider sharing staff from research departments. It is a shared priority, so see if they can enter some of the information into your system, or can you raise awareness or support them with theirs?
  • If you are storing or linking to internal documents choose a method that will keep them internal (e.g. password protected or on an internal system). Often LMS have hidden categories which can be seen with a password.
  • If you are going to use a straight-forward solution like Excel, then ensure you get advice from library colleagues to make sure you get the best out of it. Items can be categorised, filtered and pick lists created to provide consistency.
  • Speak to library colleagues who you know have an IR or ask the members of the IR task and finish group to buddy you up with a colleague who can help.

Vicky Bramwell

Library Service Manager

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

(Members of the IR task and finish group are  Lesley Allen, Vicky Bramwell, Dominic Gilroy, Hugh Hanchard, Jackie McGuire, Sue Robertson and Caroline Storer)

Knowledge Management is everyone’s business – LKS staff are ideally placed to take it on!

Ensuring that innovation, best practice and learning are shared widely across an organisation is everyone’s business, but all too often this important knowledge gets lost in departmental silos and doesn’t reach the people who need it. To put it another way: people don’t know what they don’t know – sometimes across the whole organisation.

NHS librarians are ideally placed to bring knowledge management (KM) to the forefront. We have contact with colleagues across all levels and in all departments within the organisations we serve. By the very nature of our work, we usually know who’s interested in what, who’s got a high-impact project on the go, what research is being undertaken and who the go-to person is for any particular issue.  More importantly, we have the skills to foster the connections required to get knowledge, learning and innovation to flow through our organisations.  You could say that we are at the heart of organisational knowledge sharing – and if we aren’t, then we should be.

As one of the project groups in the first cohort of the Knowledge for Healthcare Leadership Programme, we were tasked with setting up “a knowledge management initiative for LKS staff to enable knowledge sharing to drive innovation at trust level”.   Widening the brief somewhat, we have devised a model to enable NHS librarians to take KM forward within their organisations.  From engagement to knowledge capture, from a suggested structure for an innovations database to the story of a successful KM initiative at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, the aim of our model is to inspire and encourage.

At the start of the project, we were all new to KM and were on a steep learning curve.  We have all learnt a lot on the journey, trying out different KM tools and sharing our results along the way.  We have realised that tackling KM is a worthwhile and even enjoyable activity, that it is possible, and not at all as complex or frightening as you might think.  We have made new connections within our respective organisations, demonstrated the impact of KM activity and raised the profiles of our library and knowledge services. We hope the model will drive forward the mobilisation of knowledge, the sharing of success, innovation and best practice and the creation of meaningful connections for the benefit of the NHS as a whole.

Now it’s over to you! Please take a look at our KM Model and let us know what you think – we’d be delighted to have your feedback. 

Project Team

Kaye Bagshaw (Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) kaye.bagshaw@nhs.net

Alison Day (Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) alison.day@poole.nhs.uk

Tim Jacobs (The Christie NHS Foundation Trust) timothy.jacobs@christie.nhs.uk

Chris Johns (Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust) chrisjohns@nhs.net

Carol McCormick (South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) carol.mccormick@stees.nhs.uk

Ayo Ogundipe (Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust) ayo.ogundipe@congressmail.com

Samantha Unamboowe (Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust)s.unamboowe@rbht.nhs.uk