Publication Abstract

Authors: Dearing JW, Greene SM, Stewart WF, Williams AE

Title: If we only knew what we know: principles for knowledge sharing across people, practices, and platforms.

Journal: Transl Behav Med 1(1):15-25

Date: 2011 Mar

Abstract: The improvement of health outcomes for both individual patients and entire populations requires improvement in the array of structures that support decisions and activities by healthcare practitioners. Yet, many gaps remain in how even sophisticated healthcare organizations manage knowledge. Here we describe the value of a trans-institutional network for identifying and capturing how-to knowledge that contributes to improved outcomes. Organizing and sharing on-the-job experience would concentrate and organize the activities of individual practitioners and subject their rapid cycle improvement testing and refinement to a form of collective intelligence for subsequent diffusion back through the network. We use the existing Cancer Research Network as an example of how a loosely structured consortium of healthcare delivery organizations could create and grow an implementation registry to foster innovation and implementation success by communicating what works, how, and which practitioners are using each innovation. We focus on the principles and parameters that could be used as a basis for infrastructure design. As experiential knowledge from across institutions builds within such a system, the system could ultimately motivate rapid learning and adoption of best practices. Implications for research about healthcare IT, invention, and organizational learning are discussed.