This research aims to contribute to understanding the implementation of knowledge management systems (KMS) in the field of health through a case study, leading to theory building and theory extension. We use the concept of the business process approach to knowledge management as a theoretical lens to analyse and explore how a large teaching hospital developed, executed and practically implemented a KMS. A qualitative study was conducted over a 2.5 year period with data collected from semi-structured interviews with eight members of the strategic management team, 12 clinical users and 20 patients in addition to non-participant observation of meetings and documents. The theoretical propositions strategy was used as the overarching approach for data analysis. Our case study provides evidence that true patient centred approaches to supporting care delivery with a KMS benefit from process thinking at both the planning and implementation stages, and an emphasis on the knowledge demands resulting from: the activities along the care pathways; where cross-overs in care occur; and knowledge sharing for the integration of care. The findings also suggest that despite the theoretical awareness of KMS implementation methodologies, the actual execution of such systems requires practice and learning. Flexible, fluid approaches through rehearsal are important and communications strategies should focus heavily on transparency incorporating both structured and unstructured communication methods.
Bibliographical noteThis is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Knowledge Management Research & Practice. The definitive publisher-authenticated version McCracken, S. S., & Edwards, J. S. (2016). Implementing a knowledge management system within an NHS hospital: a case study exploring the roll-out of an Electronic Patient Record (EPR). Knowledge management research and practice, Advance online publication. 10.1057/kmrp.2015.7 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/kmrp.2015.7
- knowledge management systems
- business processes
- electronic patient record
- electronic health record