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The Practicality of Knowledge Management in Health Today

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The Practicality of Knowledge Management in Health Today

Oct 08, 2021   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger Amanda Winstead

In today’s healthcare industry, we need all the help we can get. COVID-19 continues to cause sickness and even death among the population, filling hospitals and overwhelming medical staff. There aren’t enough professionals to comfortably manage the situation or stem the tide of demand on the horizon as the population continues to age up.


Fortunately, Knowledge Management (KM) is here to help the medical industry handle extreme levels of demand by collating, organizing, and disseminating important public health information. As a result, we can apply practical solutions and insights in dealing with even the most disastrous of situations.

By collecting data, making care more accessible, and empowering health research, KM brings new levels of practicality and efficiency to healthcare today. Here are the important details.

Collecting Healthcare Data

The COVID-19 response has been an exercise in adapting KM systems to produce better health outcomes. In fact, much of the response has stemmed from the use of these tools in collecting healthcare data regarding the coronavirus and its spread. Public health experts have used KM frameworks to evaluate everything from exposure data to the pressure on front-line workers. From there, they can cultivate unique solutions.

Knowledge Management is integral to gathering the kind of data needed for any large-scale health response. Epidemiologists, for instance, require comprehensive access to positive tests, spread information, and rising numbers. KM systems collate this information in a singular dashboard, providing epidemiologists with the insights they need to structure intuitive next steps that protect public health.

In this fashion, KM is critical to a practical health approach. After all, the ability to manage knowledge like data makes all the difference when formulating an effective response to emergencies like a global pandemic. Without this transparent and comprehensive view, public health officials would be completely at a loss for how to implement policies that truly make a difference, instead forced to rely only on hearsay.

In turn, maintaining a comprehensive center of valuable data gives health providers the means to make healthcare more accessible. This is possible through advancing technology and the marketplace of valuable data.

Making Care More Accessible

KM makes healthcare more accessible by democratizing insights for a greater user base. 97% of Americans have smartphones and this massive demographic means that data and knowledge can be cultivated where they are most helpful, like when it comes to emergency care solutions.

For instance, medical smartphone IDs are applications that make important healthcare metrics available to first responders even if you are unconscious. The medical professional simply has to push a button or scan your wearable device to get info like your name, blood type, known allergies, and emergency contact information. This is, of course, if you have allowed your device to offer such information and the providers are savvy enough or have been trained to look for it.

Medical smartphone IDs are just one of the many ways medical knowledge has become more accessible in the situations in which it is most needed. This has life-saving potential, as the ability to quickly identify a patient and pull up their conditions and risk factors could make the difference in first-response care.

But emergencies aren’t the only times KM makes care more accessible. The entire telehealth industry—popularized during the COVID-19 pandemic—exists because care providers can streamline their knowledge for easy access when it comes to treating patients over the web. This means active databases in which patient identity can be quickly and accurately verified alongside all their treatment history.

KM is revolutionizing the healthcare industry through practical and accessible applications like telehealth. In turn, care providers now have access to more medical data than ever before, which further empowers both knowledge and care solutions.

Empowering Research

Last but far from least, Knowledge Management plays an essential role in empowering research. This is because data comes with the territory of accessible care. Now, care professionals are simply applying this available data into more powerful information systems, equipped with AI analytics and cybersecurity protections.

Little has disrupted the future of KM quite like these tools. With AI, for instance, health researchers can scan and connect thousands of data points in an instant. No longer will experts have to manually review diagnostic imaging or rely on invasive visits to gain insights about a patient. Instead, AI applied to big data sets can pull out connections in symptoms, risk factors, and avenues for treatment.

This means that research can now be done on an unprecedented scale, as well. All a smart KM system has to do is de-identify medical data to ensure HIPAA protocol is maintained, then analytics can be applied to health-related problems. Imagine the knowledge that can be cultivated through well-maintained medical databases. With information assembled across a global population, understanding of medical conditions can be revolutionized.

Already, KM systems are being applied in the effort to cure diseases and save lives. One AI model even outperformed a radiologist when it came to diagnosing breast cancer. With the power and potential of effective management of medical knowledge, we can implement life-saving solutions for all kinds of diseases. It all starts with the knowledge needed to enhance performance.

In today’s healthcare industry, Knowledge Management is both practical and effective. In the future, these features will only empower better care and more accessible treatment.



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