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Ashley Krantz Freelance Blogger

While working on my internship for my master’s degree in Information Architecture Knowledge Management, I conducted an interview with Keith Davis, employed by the Army’s Knowledge Management division inside the center of cyber excellence, as a means to better understand the Army’s knowledge management proponent. Davis concludes the interview with an enlightened consideration, demanding rumination. He notes that one must acknowledge that a paradigm shift is happening quoting William Caldwell, then Combined Arms Center Commander, “Knowledge Management may very well be the Manhattan Project of the 21st century" (K.Davis, personal communication, July 14, 2017). Briefly setting aside my extensive notes on the terms and taxonomies of the Army doctrine, this profound thought resonated with me. I asked myself, “What was the connection between this pivotal and catastrophic point in world history and the field of knowledge management?”

During the Atomic Age, The Manhattan Project, was a period of incessant discovery that utilized mass-scale of compartmentalization of knowledge, revolutionizing the physical world through understanding, processing, collaboration, and communication. The significance of the project taught us that enlightened thinkers can forge knowledge, which has the potential to grow at exponential rates resulting in invaluable discoveries. It was Cadwell’s quote that really taught me the power and potential of KM. Knowledge creation is a dynamic process that transcends existing boundaries. Knowledge truly is created through the interactions of individuals or between individuals and their milieu, rather than the individual working alone. I now learned that a social knowledge creation process is possible.

In short, the breakthroughs in atomic knowledge became the underpin for today’s enlightened, dynamic, and progressive transformative leadership and innovation. In the same way, the future of knowledge management depends on the same knowledge acquisition, representation, organization, and skill development utilized by theoretical physicists, philosophers, and thinkers in order to develop effective strategies for the optimal management of knowledge assets, production, and management.


Reference

KM World: Knowledge Management in the United States Army [Interview by K. Davis & W. Caldwell]. (2017, July 14).

Biography of Ashley Krantz

Ashley Krantz, a freelance blogger, for Pioneer Knowledge Services recently graduated magna cum laude with her master’s from Kent State University’s Information Architecture Knowledge Management program. Simultaneously, Ashley received a full-time Graduate Assistant Scholarship working as a research aid for the Library and Information Science department. Prior, she received two bachelor’s degrees, on academic scholarships, in general studies with a focus in both biology and psychology and a postgraduate degree in English. Ashley currently is the owner of an online vintage boutique, enjoys hiking, and is an avid watcher of classic films.

Kristen Summers

Kristen Summers works as a Grants Manager at Saint Luke's Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. She is interested in Knowledge Management in order to further her career in philanthropy. In her spare time she enjoys hiking with her husband and two dogs.

You know the saying in the field of grantmaking, “If you've met one foundation, then you know one foundation”? It means that foundations all have different priority areas in what they fund, their geographies differ, the way they accept applications and make decisions can vary greatly. The same is true for a foundation's Knowledge Management (KM) needs and the solutions that would be most appropriate to address those needs—there are a lot of different options out there so it is very important to spend time researching what the most fitting solutions would be for that organization.

Fortunately, Becerra-Fernandez and Sabherwal (2015) give us this seven step methodology for identifying appropriate KM solutions (p. 279), and I will give a basic overview here:

  1. Assess the contingency factors—This step requires you to examine the organization's environment in terms of contingency factors (characterizing tasks, knowledge, environment and organization) and how they contribute to uncertainty (p. 279).
  2. Identify the KM processes based on each contingency factor—When you have identified the contingency factors that are relevant to your organization, you then have to discover which KM process corresponds to that (p. 281). For example, if environmental uncertainty is high, then you would use combination or socialization for knowledge discovery, but socialization for knowledge sharing would not work as well (p. 282).
  3. Prioritize needed KM processes—Once you've identified the needed processes in the previous step, then you need to prioritize them. To help with that, you can assign scores based on appropriateness and then rank the processes (p. 281).
  4. Identify existing KM processes—This is where you will need to survey the employees of the organization to assess which KM processes are being used and to what extent (p. 281).
  5. Identify additional KM processes needed—Based on what you discovered in the previous steps, this is where you can recommend which other processes would be appropriate based on the priorities (p. 283).
  6. Assess the KM infrastructure and identify the sequential ordering of the KM processes—It is important to consider the current infrastructure to support these solutions, including the organization structure and culture, as well as the physical environment and IT infrastructure (p. 283).
  7. Develop additional needed KM systems, mechanisms, and technologies—This is where all the previous work comes into play and changes are actually made. This means creating KM systems, mechanisms, and technologies to support the KM processes, through teams or by buying or building systems (p. 283).

As I stated earlier, this is a very basic overview of the methodology, but I hope you can see all the work it would take to find the appropriate solutions. However, this work performed in order to determine the best solutions is far more efficient and cost-effective than if you were to do trial-and-error with various KM solutions that are not appropriate for your organization. Moreover, implementing the wrong solution and seeing it fail might make senior leadership gun shy about deploying any further KM solutions. So, it is better to follow this methodology and figure out what is best for your organization.


Reference List

Becerra-Fernandez, I., & Sabherwal, R. (2015). Knowledge management: Systems and processes. New York: Routledge.

Nation’s First Knowledge Management Nonprofit Establishes

Nonprofit Incubator Space in Kent, Ohio

Contact:  Edwin K. Morris, contact@ pioneer-ks.org 330.593.5850

For Immediate Release

KENT, OH, March 22, 2017:  Following its mission to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations, Pioneer Knowledge Services has launched an incubator space for fledgling nonprofits in Northeast Ohio.

Located at 1949 State Route 59, Suite 103 in Kent, the Pioneer Knowledge Services (PKS) headquarters offers nonprofits knowledge management services; skills needed for any 21st century organization.

The Incubator 17 program offers low-cost office spaces with shared resources, capacity-building workshops, networking opportunities and other services that start-up nonprofits need to grow and thrive.

PKS President and Founder Edwin K. Morris says the initiative follows best practices established by incubators across the country.

“We see small business incubators popping up all over because the incubator idea is a tried-and-true model that fuels the start-up culture and economic development,” says Morris. “The same holds true for the non-profit sector.”

Morris, an adjunct instructor of knowledge management and digital sciences at Kent State University, is creating opportunities for graduate and undergraduate internships focused on knowledge work.

“Our proximity to Kent State, in particular, enables us to access to a wide range of talents among the student body – people looking for credit and volunteer experiences to build their professional portfolio,” says Morris.

Morris says PKS can serve as the clearinghouse, home base and organization of record to supervise, mentor, and align the skills and talents of interns with the needs of nonprofit organizations.

In addition to recruiting and overseeing interns, Pioneer Knowledge Services provides knowledge management support to nonprofits, which helps organizations effectively leverage their people, technology and information.

Morris also envisions the incubator as a convener of nonprofit partnerships that can result in joint grant applications and other ventures that create a “rising tide for all ships.”

“We see ourselves as capacity builders, and we are eager to engage the ideas and energies of our colleague nonprofits to create greater relevance to and outcomes for the populations we exist to serve,” says Morris.

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Guest Blogger Dr. Marvin BorenMarv Boren 1.jpg is a passionate knowledge management professional and forward thinker.​

Challenges

Picking up where I left off, I will discuss some of the challenges or barriers to HIT adoption.

It would be easy to compile a long list of challenges to the adoption of HIT. Nonetheless, I'll limit my discussion to a brief review of two general areas that I believe are of greatest importance: stakeholder attitude and technology challenges.

Stakeholder Attitude:

If the goals set forth by the HITECH Act are to be realized, healthcare providers must make the transformation from paper to digital records - no small feat. Thus far, the transformation has been met with considerable resistance. As reimbursement for services continues to decline along with increasing overhead expenses, efficiency and productivity must be maximized. Many stakeholders feel that the workflow changes needed in order to achieve Meaningful Use are burdensome and counter-productive. In addition, some question the value of the information gained from the Meaningful Use objectives. The consensus is that at the very least, the use of EHR is more time consuming than traditional charting methods. Statistics show that adoption of EHR and achievement of MU has grown substantially since the Program's inception in 2009 to date. Nonetheless, measurable achievement of the aforementioned goals arguably, has yet to be realized. Accordingly, there is no shortage of skepticism among stakeholders whether there is a direct correlation between achieving Meaningful Use and enhancing health care quality and efficiency. Additionally this attitude contributes to the perception that adopting CEHRT lacks value.

 In order to overcome these barriers, it is essential that organizations establish a culture of trust. I would expect that those organizations most successful transitioning to CEHRT had already established a culture of trust and encountered the least resistance to change. While I am not aware of any such studies substantiating my expectation, it may be an interesting study worth pursuing.

Technology:

"The HITECH Act seeks to improve patient care and make it patient-centric through the creation of a secure, interoperable nationwide health information network. A key premise is that information should follow the patient, and artificial obstacles -- technical, bureaucratic, or business related -- should not be a barrier to the seamless exchange of information. Therefore, secure information exchange needs to occur across institutional and business boundaries so that the appropriate information is available to improve coordination, efficiency, and quality of care." ("How does information exchange")

Although there has been a proliferation of local, regional and state Health Information Exchanges (HIE the noun) to facilitate information sharing, for the most part, data remains siloed in disparate EHR systems.

Most industry leaders would agree that in spite of a greater prevalence of structured data, primary obstacles include a lack of standardization and a lack of a nationwide interoperability infrastructure to facilitate Health Information Exchange (HIE the verb). Adding fuel to the fire so to speak, are accusations that information blocking has contributed to the challenge of establishing nationwide interoperability. The seriousness of these accusations prompted a request by Congress for the ONC to produce a report on the extent of health information blocking and a comprehensive strategy to address it.  It was also requested that "the report should cover the technical, operational and financial barriers to interoperability, the role of certification in advancing or hindering interoperability across various providers, as well as any other barriers identified by the Policy Committee."

According to the REPORT TO CONGRESS, APRIL 2015 - Report on Health  (ONC, 2015) (pp.15-16) as a result of current economic and business incentives, some stakeholders have knowingly and unreasonably interfered with the exchange of electronic health information by limiting its availability or use.  The Report goes on to say that "ONC's understanding of information blocking is informed in part by a substantial body of complaints and other anecdotal evidence. However, this evidence has significant limitations that prevent ONC from confirming individual cases of information blocking. Identifying and confirming specific instances of information blocking is a difficult and highly fact-specific task. Empirical data on information blocking is also limited at present. There is little quantitative data available with which to reliably identify and measure the extent of information blocking." Finally the report suggests that "successful strategies to prevent information blocking will likely require congressional intervention". ​​

Dr Marvin Boren is the Meaningful Use Program Coordinator at Akron Children's Hospital (Akron, OH) which has successfully attested for Stage 2 Meaningful Use. He formerly practiced podiatry in Canton, OH and has over five years of experience consulting in Electronic Health Records. He is currently working on a Master of Science degree in Health Informatics at Kent State University. He can be reached at marvboren at google.com


References

1. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Department of Health and Human Services (April 10, 2015). Report to Congress on Health Information Blocking. Retrieved from https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/reports/info_blocking_040915.pdf

2. EHR incentives & certification, How to attain Meaningful Use.  Retrieved from https://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/how-attain-meaningful-use

3. How does information exchange support the goals of the HITECH Act? Retrieved from http://www.healthit.gov/policy-researchers-implementers/faqs/how-does-information-exchange-support-goals-hitech-act

4. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Office of the Secretary, United States Department of Health and Human Services (September 21, 2015). Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020. Retrieved from: https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/federal-healthIT-strategic-plan-2014.pdf​​​