Category Archives: Mobilising Evidence and Knowledge

Mobilising Evidence and Knowledge: A Retrospect

As 2020 draws to a close it is a traditional time for reflection, and we could not reflect on the Mobilising Evidence and Knowledge workstream without at the same time using some of the techniques from the NHS Knowledge Mobilisation FrameworkThe Retrospect

What was the objective? What did or didn’t we achieve and why?

Emphasising the critical role played by NHS knowledge specialists and librarians to mobilise evidence and knowledge across the NHS was a main objective. Much has been achieved in the first five years, mainly due to how well NHS library and knowledge staff across England have embraced this work, building their confidence and developing their skills to mobilise evidence and knowledge.

What were the successes?

#AMillionDecisions

#AMillionDecisions raised our profile. It calls on government and health service providers to meet their statutory obligations to ensure the million decisions made every day in healthcare are informed by evidence. It encourages healthcare staff to work with and use the expertise of librarians and knowledge specialists to get evidence into practice.  From this work evolved a bank of impact case study vignettes and endorsements from a range of senior leaders across healthcare.

Extending Reach

Using a range of evidence and tacit knowledge to inform and respond to system level healthcare has been delivered by the “bottom-up” partnership approach of the STEMClub (Sustainability and Evidence Mobilisation) in the North East of England. Adopting models similar to STEMClub are likely to increase in 2021 with the announcement from NHS England that Integrated Care Systems (ICS) are to have more statutory functions, potentially taking on a commissioning role in 2021. https://kfh.libraryservices.nhs.uk/the-stem-club-in-the-north-east-of-england/

 Skills development – workshops and study days

In February 2020 thirty library and knowledge service staff attended a two-day knowledge mobilisation course facilitated by knowledge management consultant Chris Collison. This core group of individuals work as a reference group for future mobilising evidence and knowledge work.

Tools and Techniques

  • The Knowledge Management Task and Finish Group developed the Knowledge Management Toolkit to share techniques and stories about how knowledge management has been used in practice.
  • Publication of the enhanced NHS Knowledge Mobilisation Framework E-learning introduced the concepts of learning before, during and after and demonstrated the benefits of using 11 simple knowledge mobilisation techniques. The accompanying postcard sets were expanded in 2019 to include additional techniques of Appreciative Inquiry and Fishbowl Conversations. Feedback has been positive with Dr Farzana Hussain, GP of the Year 2019 commenting on the After Action Review technique that
    • It has changed my staff meetings and significant-event analyses, the non-judgemental approach supporting a no blame culture”.
  • The self-assessment tool for organisations to consider opportunities to develop how they are using external evidence and organisational knowledge. A series of modifications were made to the tool and the current version has been used by several organisations to help plan and prioritise activities. We are currently working on developing a digitised format for this tool with the help of our knowledge champions.
  • A space to share ideas, resources and ask questions has been developed with the Knowledge Management Community of Practice. It is a great way to encourage learning, develop a knowledge base and build confidence to practice some techniques.
  • The Policies Procedures and Guidelines Toolkit was developed to capture and share good practice around supporting the production and management of these vital knowledge assets.  
  • Connecting people to people, people to research and raising the profile of an organisation by exploring different ways to promote locally produced research are explored in the Institutional Repository Toolkit which presents an ideas bank and hints and tips for implementing a local repository.  

Learning lessons from Covid-19

Rapid learning, spread of knowledge and use of evidence was essential for the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. CILIP held a virtual conference in May 2020 exploring the role of knowledge management in a time of crisis. Perspectives were shared from knowledge specialists working in various sectors including the NHS. A series of thought-provoking questions were raised, including how we take learning from a crisis and apply to our everyday practice. https://kfh.libraryservices.nhs.uk/what-is-the-use-of-knowledge-management-in-a-time-of-crisis/ This topic was explored further by Holly Case Wyatt who shared tools to rapidly share learning from Covid-19 including a framework from Collaborate for Care https://kfh.libraryservices.nhs.uk/lesson-learnt-supporting-your-organisation-to-capture-the-learning-during-covid-19/ We also produced a short recorded presentation about the Before Action Review, After Action Review and Retrospect as a suite of tools to encourage the sharing and re-use of lessons learnt.

KNOWvember

KNOWvember is an annual celebration and showcase of the work by NHS library and knowledge staff to mobilise evidence and knowledge. The aim of KNOWvember events is to share practical examples of how library and knowledge service staff have used techniques to encourage more widespread use of evidence and sharing of know-how across the NHS. This in turn generates ideas for more knowledge mobilisation to take place.

Four virtual events were held in KNOWvember20 featuring work by various library and knowledge specialists coupled with opportunities to experience a variety of knowledge mobilisation techniques. We were also joined by external speakers including CILIP Trustee Karen McFarlane, who provided an overview of the BSI/ISO 30401 Knowledge Management Systems Standard and CILIP’s Knowledge Management Chartership and Dr Nicola Millard, Principal Innovation Partner at BT who shared insights into the digital workplace. Presentations from these events, plus summaries of discussions and recorded conversations between knowledge specialists, can be found on the Knowledge for Healthcare KNOWvember20 YouTube Playlist.

What could have been even better?

We know that terminology has at times proved challenging.

As the ISO 30401:2018 Knowledge Management Systems Standard says there is no single accepted definition of knowledge management and our preferred term is knowledge mobilisation emphasising that knowledge needs to be used and not just managed. David Stewart’s reflection considers this change in terminology and presents a long view concluding that knowledge management is no longer a “nice to have” trend but that KM will become the every-day core of what we do” – delivering Knowledge and Library Services to ensure that organisational knowledge and best evidence are mobilised to achieve excellent healthcare and health improvement.

Marks out of 10 for the work as a whole? What would have made it a 10?

The work to date deserves at least an eight as demonstrated by the range of mobilising evidence and knowledge work showcased at the recent KNOWvember20 events. It will become a 10 when even more NHS staff routinely use evidence and share knowledge to inform their decisions.

A big thank you to all who have contributed to this work, and in particular to our knowledge champions. We wish you time for your own reflection over the festive break and look forward to working with you on the next chapter of this story in the new year.

To read more about the mobilising evidence and knowledge work see Day A and Goswami L (2020) Driving change with evidence and knowledge: Transforming knowledge services for the NHS across England. Business Information Review Volume 37,
Issue 1 https://doi.org/10.1177/0266382120909240

2020 and Covid-19: library and knowledge services getting evidence into practice

2020 has been an extraordinary year. Covid-19 has presented many challenges, particularly in phase one, including redeployment of library staff and space, IT connectivity to allow working from home and the development of virtual and digital services. However, library and knowledge staff have risen to meet and overcome these challenges, demonstrating resilience and adaptability. Messaging throughout the pandemic has been that library and knowledge staff are accessible and services have remained open for business, even if the doors to some physical spaces have been closed.

The role that library and knowledge specialists play in mobilising knowledge and evidence into practice has supported individual and organisational learning and Covid-19 decision making. This has raised the profile of library and knowledge services in many organisations.

  • Library and knowledge service managers working for the Trusts leading the Nightingales, developed tailored service offers into the new hospitals. The national HEE library and knowledge services LKS team has worked with this group of service managers to facilitate a community of practice to support learning and sharing.
  • Services have provided evidence support for Boards and supported the management of incidents by gold and silver command groups by delivering rapid evidence reviews.
  • Library and knowledge staff have used knowledge management tools to facilitate discussions and share learning for example, using After-Action Reviews to capture lessons learned and running Randomised Coffee Trials to share learning and keep staff connected.

Across the networks, we have seen greater collaborative working between services, for example through the sharing of expertise and supporting colleagues where capacity has been reduced. Collaborative working has also resulted sharing examples of Covid current awareness sharing bulletins and in the development of the Covid-19 Search Bank. Since the launch of the Search Bank in May, over 200 search strings and strategies have been published. Feedback from participants and users has been very positive and we are looking at what this experience can tell us about supporting expert searchers.

There has been a move to making greater use of technology, strengthening delivery of virtual services, including training, demonstrating a capability for rapid and agile development. Most services are now offering some type of virtual training session, and there are examples of development of online and e-learning modules to support induction and critical appraisal. The national CPD offers to develop skills in facilitating virtual meetings have been well received by library and knowledge staff.

The HEE Resource Discovery team has supported remote working by ensuring off-site access to OpenAthens administration tools. They also optimised access to the evidence-base by collating trusted evidence resources, with sources on the vaccine currently being pulled together, and signposting developments with BMJ Best Practice and access to e-books through the Kortext platform.

Library and knowledge staff have continued to provide knowledge services remotely throughout the pandemic. In May, 45% of our physical library services were either closed or open but not staffed. By October 20 this had reduced to just 11%. All services have worked with their organisations to adapt both the working and learning space within the library to ensure it is safe. Many of you have shared your approach, together with pictures of the changes including:

  • changes in layout for PC and study space
  • self-issuing systems
  • screens around library counters
  • booking systems for workstations.

Some services have added to the ways in which the library is valued by NHS staff as a wellbeing resource, creating and expanding the health and wellbeing space and collections for staff.

We are aware that there is pressure on library space in some organisations. Accordingly, we have prepared policy recommendations that emphasise the importance of library learning space, which will go to the HEE Executive for approval in January 2021.

Over the last few weeks HEE’s library and knowledge service regional teams have been ringing everyone. It has been good to catch up with you and find out what is currently happening in your services and organisations during the second wave. We will be considering all the feedback to identify any themes where areas for further support or training have been raised. In talking to you all it has been amazing to hear that, despite the challenges faced, many of you are still seeking out the opportunities in your organisations and continuing to develop the service through innovation and adopting good practice.

During the pandemic, services have captured some amazing impact stories which we are delighted to share some with you here. Working with the HEE Communications team, we have been using these to raise the profile of NHS library and knowledge services on social media. Please do continue to collect your impact case studies and share them with us.

We would like to finish this blogpost with thanks to you. Your work in mobilising evidence and knowledge to support Covid-19 decision making, supporting the health and wellbeing of NHS staff, and ensuring that accessible, evidence-based health information is made available for patients and the public, has made all for the difference to many lives during the pandemic.

KNOWvember20 Showcase is underway

Happy KNOWvember20 – will you been inspired to try something new?

Library and knowledge staff across the country have been showcasing their work mobilising evidence and knowledge during the month of November.

“As a result of this session I will look at how we can use learn at lunch type sessions or coffee conversations within the team and linking in with OD workstreams” Participant at KNOWvember20 Showcase

This year, more than any other, has highlighted the benefits of mobilising evidence and knowledge as part of the required response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  A series of presentations on the 2nd November re-enforced this where we heard about the work of the NHS England and NHS Improvement Beneficial Change Network that used knowledge management activities to capture the innovations and changes that occurred in health and care delivery as a consequence of the Covid pandemic.  Stephen Ayre shared how he had used the conversation café format at George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust to support staff wellbeing and Tracey Pratchett described how the premortem technique* had been used at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS FT to learn valuable lessons about the first wave of the pandemic.

*Klein (2007) Performing a Project Premortem. HBR https://hbr.org/2007/09/performing-a-project-prem

Some of us are also trying to move ahead with projects established just before Covid hit.  We heard from Deena Maggs who described how she worked collaboratively with others in the Kings Fund to get agreement for her project to manage the corporate memory of the organisation.  Whereas Preeti Puligari from Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust continued to run the QI poster competition to encourage the spread of good practice across her trust.  We heard about how the library became involved and the opportunities that involvement presented for the library and knowledge service. During this session we also held a mini Peer Assist – using the questions from the peer assist technique to learn more from our speakers.  Further details about the session with links to all the presentations can be found in the virtual delegate pack.

four cartoon people sat around a table with a gingham tablecloth

A knowledge café was held on the 12th November which, prompted by an interesting talk by Karen McFarlane the CILIP representative on the committee preparing the BS/ ISO 30401 Knowledge Management Systems, led to conversations about how to use the standard, develop skills and knowledge to make knowledge management part of our standard business offer.  Karen provided a useful overview to the standard and explained how it could be used to internally audit KM practice.  She then moved on to tell us more about CILIP’s knowledge management chartership and there was lots of interest in the chat function about this.  Karen’s presentation, plus links to further information about CILIP Knowledge Management Chartership are available in the Virtual Delegate Pack.

Further events lined-up for KNOWvember20.

On the 17th November 12:30 join the #ukmedlibs chat for a discussion  to share ideas, think about good practice and discuss creative solutions to mobilise knowledge effectively online and during a pandemic.

The 20th November at 11am will consider how we can influence a culture of learning and knowledge sharing in our organisations.   We will hear from speakers sharing the knowledge management initiatives they have been involved with, conduct the first part of an appreciative inquiry into what has gone well for others introducing KM, hold an After Action Review to discover what has worked or not worked well for two knowledge managers and hold a knowledge exchange to find out more about the NHSE/I Beneficial Change Unit.

The 30th November is the last of our recorded webinar sessions and we are excited to be joined by Nicola Millard, Principal Innovation Partner, BT Enterprise who will insp

four cartoon people stading around an over-sized fish in a bowl of water

ire us to consider the ways we live and work in a a future where technology is instrumental.  We will follow this with a virtual fishbowl conversation to further explore the points made by Nicola.

Starting from this week we will also be inviting library and knowledge specialists to record interviews with each other about the work they have been doing to mobilise evidence and knowledge in their organisations.  This could be small scale holding of randomised coffee trials to full-blown implementation of knowledge management strategies.  You can watch the first of these interviews with Sarah Lewis at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, on the  KNOWvember20 YouTube Channel.  Here you will also find all the recorded talks from the sessions held throughout November plus interviews with knowledge managers working in other NHS and non-NHS sectors.

Be inspired and tell us what you have been doing to mobilise evidence and knowledge.