Tag 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.

What is the use of Knowledge Management in a time of crisis?

On the 19th May CILIP held an online conference event exploring the role of knowledge management during a time of disruption and crisis, such as the pandemic of Covid-19 that we are currently living through.

Perspectives were shared by knowledge management specialists working in local and national government, overseas, finance, utilities and healthcare organisations.

As Nick Poole, CEO of CILIP, describes in his article Knowledge Management in a time of crisis, lessons learned from COVID-19, even at this ‘event’ phase of COVID-19

“Knowledge Management has already shown its value in helping our society and our economy adapt to its strange new circumstances.”

It was interesting to hear how in each of the different industries featured, techniques of knowledge management were recognised as adding value to working experiences.

Some thought provoking questions were shared  during the event to consider the ongoing part knowledge management can play at this time and in the gradual recovery phase still to come.

  • How do you/your organisation handle measurement and celebrating successes? How is it different from others?
  • How do you persuade management to support KM initiatives?
  • How do you improve knowledge sharing across geographical and cultural differences?
  • How do you handle misinformation/knowledge, poor quality information/knowledge and overload?
  • What have we learned from the crisis that will be useful for everyday practice?

Slides from the KM in a time of crisis

Narrated presentation about KM in a time of crisis in healthcare by Louise Goswami and Alison Day