All posts by Dominic Gilroy

Digital knowledge resource discovery and delivery infrastructure for the NHS in England: outcomes of work with Ken Chad Consulting

The background

One of the key ways to drive delivery of the Knowledge for Healthcare vision is by ensuring the healthcare workforce has quick and easy access to relevant digital knowledge and evidence resources at the point of need. This is the focus of the Resource Discovery work stream.

HEE and NICE (and their predecessor organisations) have provided the same basic digital resource access infrastructure – comprising HDAS search, a national Link Resolver/Knowledge Base and OpenAthens authentication – for many years. There are also multiple library management systems in use across the country, and an increasing number of locally-implemented discovery systems.  With changing user preferences and expectations, shifting digital and publishing environments, advances in technology, and ever present financial scrutiny, there was a clear need to review – and potential to modernise and streamline – the infrastructure.

We had already collected information and opinion about the LMS and discovery systems in place and about products on the market, with desk research undertaken on behalf of HEE by Catherine Micklethwaite (Library Service Manager at Torbay & South Devon NHS Trust). This made a significant contribution to our understanding of the status quo and possible future options, but the sheer complexity of the operational landscape means there was no obvious single way forward.  The audit of NHS library services previously undertaken by Ciber Research Ltd had recommended ‘a national discovery engine’ and ‘a single national LMS’ but we felt these recommendations needed further scrutiny. We decided some external expert input would help us to crystallise our goals and articulate our strategy, and following a tendering process, selected Ken Chad Consulting to provide this.

The approach

Ken’s approach was to facilitate a series of five stakeholder workshops. We invited a mix of librarians to participate, including those working in strategic/resource management roles in HEE and NICE, and those managing services/resources and supporting staff at local level in healthcare settings and so close to end-user needs (see below for a list of participants).

Each workshop had a different focus:

  1. The situation ‘as is’: what do we and our systems currently do, why and what are the pain points?
  2. Strategy: given the context, our customers, the competition and our capabilities, what is it that we should focus on achieving, by when?
  3. Jobs to be done: what jobs do our customers need to get done? What problems do they need to solve?
  4. Value propositions: what are the value propositions (benefits) our system(s) can provide? Can our customers get these elsewhere?
  5. Keep, stop, add: given all the above, what do we and our systems need to keep doing, stop doing and start doing?

The outcomes

The workshops generated a lot of discussion and debate, information and insight. Amongst the conclusions to emerge are that:

  • The goal should be ‘to provide NHS staff with a single national gateway to their trusted library and knowledge service, connecting them seamlessly to quality resources, services and support, tailored to their needs’.
  • The two most critical drivers are to provide end users with a better experience, and to reduce the complexity of the existing fragmented infrastructure, which is contributing both to deficiencies in user experience and high maintenance costs.
  • Our initial focus should be on end-user (non-expert) discovery and access to local and national resources. HDAS and native interfaces are for the most part meeting the needs of advanced/expert searchers.
  • We should invest in a single national discovery system, with an integrated knowledge base/link resolver, end-user article requesting and a library staff interface for mediated document sourcing and supply.
  • Although a single national LMS is not realistic in the short or medium term, we should plan to transition from legacy library management systems, to fewer, more modern systems which would use the discovery layer of the national discovery system.

Next steps

The HEE Resource Discovery workstream leads have developed a plan of work to take forward these recommendations. If you would like more information, or are interested in being involved, please contact any of the following HEE staff:

London and KSS: Lucy Reid, Helene Gorring

Midlands and East: Richard Bridgen

North: Dominic Gilroy

South: Helen Bingham, Jenny Toller

Workshop participants

Helen Alper, Kaye Bagshaw, Helen Bingham, Igor Brbre, Sue Lacey Bryant, Richard Bridgen, Ruth Carlyle, Alan Fricker, Dominic Gilroy, Helene Gorring, Natasha Howard, Celestine Johnston, Sarah Maddock, Catherine Micklethwaite, Tracey Pratchett, Lucy Reid, Marion Spring, Jenny Toller, Fran Wilkie, Helen Williams.

 

 

Working collaboratively across distances within the NHS

Early 2018, Natalie Gabe and Chloe George were both asked to join the Library and Knowledge Services Engagement Group South. An opportunity to create and pilot a series of webinars for healthcare staff working in NHS South arose and we both put our names forward. We wanted to create a community of practice to share expertise and knowledge across the region ‘virtually’.

The plan was to run webinar sessions for each topic chosen and engage both professional and para-professional staff. We have run webinars on GDPR, PPI, Value & Impact and are planning much more.

We hadn’t spoken before we joined the group, let alone worked together. We soon discovered that although we had both participated in webinars neither of us had facilitated or booked a session before. We needed some training and needed to find a willing presenter for our first webinars. Calling upon regional expertise, we learnt how to use WebEx and how to organise an online training event.

Being responsible for the smooth running of the webinars was challenging. There is always the worry of technical problems but having the two of us helped this as we always had each other for support. Buddying up has been very rewarding and fun; it just felt so easy working alongside each other. Bringing people together and giving them the opportunity to get involved has been fantastic. The fact that the webinars are live, give us a buzz, not quite a radio show, but it feels great doing them.

If you would like to find out more about our webinar project, please contact us.

Chloe George
Senior Library Assistant
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust chloe.george@nhs.net

Nat Gabe
Knowledge Specialist
Hampshire Healthcare Library Service Natalie.Gabe@southernhealth.nhs.uk

The Seven Deadly Sins of Knowledge Sharing in Networks

On 16th July, I was fortunate enough to take part in this webinar organised by NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement Team and Source4Networks, which posed the  following questions:

  • What are the barriers to sharing knowledge across your networks?
  • How can we learn from others to apply this knowledge to the NHS?

Chris Collison, author and expert in networks and knowledge management, was on hand to guide us through some of these critical barriers, namely the seven deadly sins – or syndromes – that can affect networks and stifle the supply or demand for knowledge sharing.

1) Tall Poppy Syndrome – Based on the idea that the tallest poppy in a field is the first to get cut down to size, this syndrome illustrates a reluctance to put your head above the parapet and a tendency to keep a low profile and not get involved.

2) Shrinking Violet Syndrome – Another “sin” that stifles the supply of shared knowledge in a network, based on a feeling of false humility, and that you have nothing useful to share.

3) Not-Invented-Here Syndrome – This syndrome impacts the demand for knowledge
sharing; the view that your organisation or team has a unique set of problems that can’t be
fixed by adopting other people’s solutions. Besides (the thinking goes) why use someone
else’s solutions when you can gain kudos for inventing your own?

4) Tom Tom Syndrome – Also known as Real-Men-Don’t-Ask-For-Directions Syndrome. A
reluctance to ask for help when you’re lost, due to a fear of being seen to be incompetent.
This “muddling along” approach is another barrier that stifles knowledge sharing by reducing demand.

5) Lacknowledgement Syndrome – The perception that by sharing good practice there is
somehow a “lack of acknowledgement”, and a suspicion that someone else will take the
credit for your hard work.

6) Lock-it-Away Syndrome – Here, a potential solution, idea or example of good practice is
not shared, either because it is never quite finished, or because everything produced by the organisation or team is locked down by default due to security policies.

7) Hamster-on-the-Wheel Syndrome – This “sin” comes down to time – or lack of it. A feeling that you’re just too busy going round in circles to stop and share what you’re doing.

A quick webinar poll indicated that this last “sin” was particularly prevalent, and something that most of the attendees were familiar with, but we all recognised the various other syndromes as well. Chris went on to suggest some antidotes, such as:

  • Make it safe to share
  • Think about use of language – e.g. looking for “answers” can place an unintended
    burden on people
  • Establish what “good” looks like, so the network has a frame of reference – e.g. using
    a maturity model for an agreed scale of good practice
  • Make it easier for people to ask for help – e.g. awards for things like:
    o Transferring good practice
    o Re-using a solution
    o Embedding a good practice
  • Share failures as well as successes
  • Acknowledge everything – where it came from etc.
  • Check what security policies actually say about sharing information outside the
    organisation
  • Legitimise the time spent sharing knowledge, e.g.
    o Establish a network sponsor
    o Find and share stories of things that worked

From my experience, we already have many of these antidotes in place in our LKS network in the South, but we all interact with networks at an organisational or directorate level, and personally I recognised quite a few of these deadly syndromes. I found the webinar
extremely illuminating,engaging and motivating.

For anyone interested in viewing the recorded webinar, you can find it here. For those of you who would like to dig a bit deeper, both Chris Collison’s and Source4Networks’ websites and twitter details are below:

Chris Collison: www.chriscollison.com / @chris_collison
Source4Networks: https://www.source4networks.org.uk/ / @source4networks

Andrew Brown
Library Services Manager
Wexham Park Hospital (WXM)

This article was first published in Swimming Pool, Issue 109, August 2018, p.7-10