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While it is for you to decide upon the exact content that you cover, you might feel it appropriate to include aspects such as:

A brief overview of the organisation: its mission statement, goals, strategic objectives, etc.

A knowledge management audit or SWOT analysis of existing knowledge management strategies and tools in place.

Introduction to National Health Services (NHS)

Knowledge management is the process of selecting and utilizing tools and various systems to gather and disseminate information within and outside the enterprise efficiently. It provides a useful framework for assessing new ideas and information coming up in the enterprise (Lettieri et al., 2004, p. 16). This report analyses the knowledge management system of National Health Services (NHS).

NHS is a name used to refer to the public health services in the UK. Specifically, NHS England was created with a mission to promote good healthcare for all, irrespective of wealth (NHS, 2018). Three principal objectives guide its activities- meeting the needs of everyone, delivering free services, and basing its operations on clinical needs of people and not their ability to pay. The strategic objectives of NHS are based on four aspects- quality, innovation and collaboration, people and sustainability. It aims to deliver safe, quality and effective care that satisfies both the community and individual needs and to provide integrated and innovative care closer to home which improves the well-being, health, and independent living. It also aims to be an active organization with highly skilled, talented and empowered staff.

NHS has put more effort on establishing Knowledge management activities through the National Knowledge Service. The primary aim of NKS is to provide the employees of NHS with the most appropriate knowledge in the most desirable format (NHS, 2018). The ultimate objective of KM in NHS is to ensure patient safety and standardize the medical and health practices. Within the NKS exists some projects like the "Do Once and Share" (DOAS) project and the Knowledge management specialist library which can be accessed via the National Library of Health.

DOAS concentrates on 50 primary clinical topics.  Some of these topics include child health, renal failure, oral health and asthma among other issues (NHS, 2018). It aims to institute a standard management approach across the NHS. The following paragraphs provide a study of other examples of KM in NHS.

The NHS modernization Agency formed Eurekas and Lesson cards. They are concise and functional documents which contain lessons learned from various experiences and instances of innovation in the NHS and promote work-based learning throughout NHS (NHS, 2018). The NHS in England has also established a protocols and Care pathways database which is available in the National Library for Health. This database contains a step-by-step guide to procedures from NHS trusts around the nation.

National Knowledge Service

Eurekas and lesson cards Promote information flow between different health specialists in the healthcare industry. Also, work-based learning is achieved by using these tools. While continuing with their work at their duty centers, the healthcare operators can continuously refer to these tools as a way of accessing more information and improving their skills (Gould & Mitts, 2014, p. 47). Honestly, if appropriately used, Eurekas and Lesson cards can avail all the lessons learned from a range of experiences thus promoting continuous improvements in health operations and management process.

Sadly enough, some healthcare specialists may tend to limit their search for information to the Eurekas and Lesson cards. They may, therefore, have a fixed mind and become unable to look for other sources of information (Gould & Mitts, 2014, p. 47). Moreover, the Eurekas and Lesson cards, may not be able to provide all the information required by the specialists. Sometimes the information given may be incomplete or irrelevant.

Another knowledge management tool available via National Library for Health is the Map of Medicine. This is a map which connects health professionals to the evidence base and local connections. NHS has also developed NHS Networks which enables the health experts to create work-related networks by supporting collaboration and facilitating the communication process.

The map of medicine necessitates access to best practice guidance by the healthcare professionals. Also, by using this tool, the healthcare specialists can gain access to up to date care pathways (Choices, 2014, p. 2). This enables them to visualize the referral and care pathways for different patients. It is also worth noting that this tool reduces the overall time spent in making referrals and supports the individual specialists’ professional development

Oddly, one of the overall weaknesses of the map of medicine is that it is too streamlined. Also, there are some criticisms that it is complex and disturbing to grasp by some specialists (Choices, 2014, p. 4). Therefore, it should be thoroughly coordinated to enable more specialists to have a clear grasp on how to use it.

The last tool used in NHS is the Knowledge management specialist library. This is a portal which provides health specialists with access to reliable research on KM in healthcare, a glossary to enhance understandability of KM, diary dates for health events, good health practice examples and a network to discuss ideas among other information.

One of the advantages of the specialist library is that it is reliable. It also contains a range of useful information that can be retrieved by the health professionals at the click of a button. Another importance of the specialist library is that it offers a host of tools and tutorials to the specialists, enabling them to improve their skills.

Do Once and Share (DOAS)

Sometimes, a health care specialist may not be able to retrieve specific information of interest from the specialist library. This is because the library is a portal that contains a pool of information. Also, the healthcare professionals may be interested in doing more research about a particular disease, or condition, while this may be unavailable in the specialist library. Furthermore, the healthcare professionals may tend to limit their search for information to the specialist library, hence may not be ready to extend further to other sources of information. In the long run, this may discourage innovation.

The above knowledge management tools have been helpful in ensuring NHS achieve its goals. They have assisted different health professionals to access beneficial health information (NHS, 2018). They have also assisted the general public to know their rights and receive health advice. Also, the knowledge management tools have acted as forums for interaction between different stakeholders and health professionals on health matters. However, the healthcare industry is influenced by a tremendous flurry of change. Therefore, the above learning tools have proven to be essential in promoting learning and unlearning in the organization.

Ideally, Learning involves a continuous acquisition of knowledge. Before someone can learn, he/she may have certain beliefs, old knowledge or some misconceptions about a particular event or experience (Hislop et al., 2014, p. 540). Therefore, one should be able to forget the previously-held beliefs or repudiate some long revered theories through unlearning and adopt new ideas through learning. According to Hislop et al. (2014, p. 42), learning consists of two different dimensions- explicit and tacit. It is through social interaction and usage of various KM tools that both explicit and implicit knowledge can be transferred. This is explained below using the Nonaka and Takeuchi Knowledge spiral model.

The KM tools can be discussed using the Nonaka and Takeuchi Knowledge Spiral Model. Under this model, Knowledge can be categorized into two- explicit and tacit. As explained by Hume & Hume (2008, p. 129), the explicit knowledge is always contained in manuals while the tacit knowledge is learned through experience and communicated through analogy and metaphor.

Explicit knowledge can also be known as codified knowledge. It is a type of knowledge that can readily be codified, verbalized and articulated. It is usually easy to transmit codified knowledge to others through media, books, and encyclopedias among other ways (Zhao et al., 2013, p.903). On the other hand, Tacit or implicit knowledge is a type of knowledge that cannot be easily transferred from one person to another by verbalizing or writing it down. In this case, the knowledge management system in NHS can be explained as both explicit and tacit. The explicit knowledge is distributed through the Eurekas and Lesson cards, DOAS, Care pathways and Protocol guides, and the map of medicine. Conversely, the tacit knowledge is distributed via the knowledge management specialist library, which offers a forum for interaction between different specialists, who share knowledge, experience, and skills through online discussions.

Map of Medicine

Tacit knowledge is usually difficult to transfer. Therefore, it requires people to have regular interactions, trust, and personal contacts to transfer tacit knowledge (Hume & Hume, 2008, p. 129. Therefore, the knowledge management specialist library forms the best tools for transferring this kind of knowledge as it provides a forum for regular interactions between different specialists.

The SECI Model was introduced by Ikujiro Nonaka to explain the explicit and tacit concepts of knowledge conversion further. He came up with four basic ways of combining and converting knowledge types- combination, externalization, socialization, and internalization.

 In socialization, knowledge is inherited through observation, action, and practice. In NHS, using the map of medicine, experts can observe and imitate the guidelines and tutorials given. Externalization is whereby tacit knowledge is codified into documents (Hansel et al., 1999, p. 2). Through the Eurekas and Lesson cards, NHS has been able to print different procedures to make them available to the health experts.

A combination is whereby codified knowledge sources are combined to create some new knowledge. Through discussions, NHS has been able to continually improve the contents of the Knowledge management specialist library to make them suit the needs of different stakeholders. The specialists are therefore able to internalize the knowledge gained from this portal and apply them in medical practice.

SWOT analysis is a model which can be used to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of an organization. The strengths refer to the unique capabilities possessed by a firm. For instance, NHS has well established KM system. This system consists of various tools such as Eurekas and Lesson cards, DOAS and map of medicine among other tools. The tools necessitate receipt and sharing of health information among professionals and between different stakeholders.

Opportunities refer to the gaps in external environment which an enterprise can pursue to become more competitive. For example, NHS has an opportunity to improve its systems to reflect the changes in technology constantly. Concerning this, the Knowledge management specialist library has since been upgraded from time to time to suit the needs of various stakeholders.

Another SWOT variable is the weaknesses; these refer to the gaps available in an organization which can allow other competitors, to be more profitable than the enterprise. These gaps often make an enterprise less competitive. For example, NHS has not been able to evaluate the needs of all its stakeholders and compress them into one knowledge management system. This is a weakness. Therefore, some stakeholder's requirements may not be reflected.  

Knowledge Management Specialist Library

Threats, on the other hand, refers to the factors that may impede the success of an enterprise. For instance, the changes in technology and health needs of various stakeholders in the healthcare sector are unpredictable. This may act as a threat to NHS as it may not be able to react to these changes promptly.


Knowledge management in health care promotes the safety of patients and better outcomes. Specifically, in NHS, it has enabled interaction between professionals and transfer of information between different stakeholders. However, the unpredictable nature of changes in the healthcare sector has acted as a major threat to this organization, making it unable to respond promptly to all the healthcare needs of the people.

The healthcare professionals should use the km tools available in the organization to receive and boost their explicit knowledge. Also, the Knowledge management tools should be updated regularly to reflect the prevailing changes in the healthcare environment. This will promote learning and unlearn among the healthcare professionals and patients in general. Through unlearning, the professionals and the patients will be able to reject or forget their previously-held beliefs and acquire new and up to date knowledge. The specialists should also hold regular interactions with some tools such as the specialist library to enable them to develop trust in each other and consequently acquire tacit knowledge. The knowledge management tools provide the specialists with several incentives. Therefore, if used optimally, they will be able to acquire accurately and up to date knowledge.  However, the specialists should always not limit their search to the Eurekas and Lesson cards. They should expand and use other sources. Also, the Eurekas and Lesson cards should be customized to remove outdated information. Furthermore, NHS should establish guidelines on how to use the Map of medicine to eliminate the difficulties experienced by some professionals. The Specialty library portal should also be organized in such a way that the topics are identifiable so that the healthcare professionals pick the relevant topics easily to avoid time wastage in searching for information from a large pool of data.


Choices, N.H.S., 2014. Map of Medicine. Prostatitis–Secondary Care, January 2014. P. 1-85

Gould, D., and Mitts, L., 2014. EUREKA! Causal Thinking about Molecules and Matter. Science Scope, 38(2), p.47.

Hansen, M.T., Nohria, N. & Tierney, T., 1999. What’s Your Strategy for Managing Knowledge? The Knowledge Management Yearbook 2000–2001, Pp.1-10.

Hislop, D., Bosley, S., Coombs, C.R. and Holland, J., 2014. The process of individual unlearning: A neglected topic in an under-researched field. Management Learning, 45(5), pp.540-560.

Hume, C. & Hume, M., 2008. The Strategic Role of Knowledge Management in Nonprofit Organisations. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 13(2), Pp.129-140.

Lettieri, E., Borga, F. & Savoldelli, A., 2004. Knowledge Management in Non-Profit Organizations. Journal of Knowledge Management, 8(6), Pp.16-30.

NHS, 2018. About Us. [Online]  Available at: [Accessed 7 March 2018].

Zhao, Y., Lu, Y. and Wang, X., 2013. Organizational unlearning and organizational relearning: a dynamic process of knowledge management. Journal of Knowledge Management, 17(6), pp.902-912.

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