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Knowledge Management in Primary Healthcare

  • Author / Creator
    Anwar, Aasia S
  • Canadian healthcare system is confronting some serious challenges. In addition to dealing with aging population with chronic health conditions, it faces the problems related to integration of information technology, uncoordinated care, and waste of valuable resources. There is also pressure on healthcare organizations to reduce cost while improving quality of health services. Since healthcare is a knowledge-intensive industry, appropriate management and use of knowledge can result in improved efficiency of service delivery methods. If implemented well, a proper knowledge management system can educate providers, streamline processes, and bridge care gaps; hence creating and sustaining optimal, cost-effective, and high quality healthcare outcomes. Our first study is a cross-sectional survey conducted among primary care physicians of Edmonton. Since knowledge and skills of healthcare providers are among core competences of healthcare, the goal of our first study is to assess the effect of physician’s personal characteristics (age, gender, years of experience) and practice characteristics (number of patients seen per day and technology usage) on their knowledge management adoption. Statistical results showed that there is no effect of physicians’ personal or practice characteristics on their knowledge management adoption. We speculate that physician’s attitude towards managing knowledge might be influenced by forces outside of the individual or practice settings. However, the result shows strong association between physicians’ knowledge management adoption and their use of information and communication technology, proving that information and communication technology is a strong component of a knowledge management system. Our second study is focused on the discovery of social and technical factors that affect and impede the coordination of health services. Two qualitative research methodologies, namely, observations and semi-structured interviews are used to understand the workflow related to the management of patient-specific information in a Primary Care Network of Alberta. Results showed there are various technical and behavioural impediments in the smooth transfer of information between clinics. We recommend several knowledge management solutions that have the potential to streamline processes and improve coordination. Both studies offer some general insights for consideration within the healthcare setting in a direct and/or indirect way. However, exploring adoption of knowledge management in other domain of care is required as well.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2014-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3W668
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Specialization
    • Engineering Management
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Doucette, John (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Lipsett, Michael (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Dennison, Christopher (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Karapetrovic, Stanislav (Mechanical Engineering)