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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Managing Knowledge in UK Primary Healthcare: Some Mixed Messages

Managing Knowledge in UK Primary Healthcare: Some Mixed Messages
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Author(s): George Stonehouse (University of Northumbria, UK), Anna Buehring (University of Newcastle, UK)and Jonathan Pemberton (University of Northumbria, UK)
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 4
Source title: Issues & Trends of Information Technology Management in Contemporary Organizations
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-39-6.ch174
ISBN13: 9781930708396
EISBN13: 9781466641358


Knowledge is increasingly recognised as a vital resource in the development of successful organisations. Much of the published work in this area has arisen in a business and management context, but applies equally to many customer-driven industries, including the caring professions. In particular, dissemination of knowledge leading to improved treatment and prevention of disease is an integral element of the primary healthcare sector. Arguably, advances in information and communications systems and technology have transformed the ability of organisations to manage and create such knowledge. There is increasing evidence, however, that many organisations, including those involved in primary health care, have yet to fully embrace and exploit these developments effectively. This paper, utilising research based on a national survey of general practitioners throughout England, identifies potential barriers inhibiting knowledge creation and management. More specifically, this research explores how, drawing upon developments surfacing in business, the primary health care sector might address these shortcomings. The paper concludes that while there has been significant investment in new technologies within the sector, without similar investment in developing the organisational context of primary healthcare providers, the potential to develop and manage knowledge leading to improved performance could remain largely under exploited.

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