Generating knowledge in health care

Hospitals are organized around lots of functions. In such a complex system with numerous functions and actions all happening at the same time our biggest challenges is the lack of reliable mechanisms and knowledge to integrate all these functions into a coherent whole.
We tend to become our position and function and we may be blinded to how our function is affecting someone else’s function. We are so busy fighting our own battle that we are not seeing the big picture unless we learn to look for it.
This is aggravated by health care services traditionally being a culture of existing individual experts (silo’s) where knowledge is not typically shared across the boundaries. (Think surgeon’s vs anesthetists vs physicians). And hierarchies
Often when we are confronted with limitations within the functions of our field of expertise, we have an assumption that fixing or providing the ideas is the function of another department, our supervisor, hospital management etc. Not us, we don’t give ideas. We sometimes forget that we all serve each other – department for department and function for function. Think about a problem that your department has simply been “working around” because you have only been working towards meeting the patient’s immediate needs within your department.
Health care needs to start sharing knowledge, insights and stories to create overlaps. These overlaps creates the ability to gain knowledge, to be informed of what other departments within our organization are doing (hospital/ ambulance service) and to share our stories to drive innovation.
In my experience there is an abundance of good ideas in our health care organizations, sadly though they are often dismissed as soon as they are shared with all the reasons why it won’t work. We need to change our stories and our language to overcome these barriers so that we can become nurturing towards good ideas.


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