Using patient knowledge for better health systems

John Edwards, Sara McCracken

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Purpose – This paper describes a “work in progress” research project being carried out with a public health care provider in the UK, a large NHS hospital Trust. Enhanced engagement with patients is one of the Trust’s core principles, but it is recognised that much more needs to be done to achieve this, and that ICT systems may be able to provide some support. The project is intended to find ways to better capture and evaluate the “voice of the patient” in order to lead to improvements in health care quality, safety and effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach – We propose to investigate the use of a patient-orientated knowledge management system (KMS) in managing knowledge about and from patients. The study is a mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) investigation based on traditional action research, intended to answer the following three research questions:
(1) How can a KMS be used as a mechanism to capture and evaluate patient experiences to provoke patient service change
(2) How can the KMS assist in providing a mechanism for systematising patient engagement?
(3) How can patient feedback be used to stimulate improvements in care, quality and safety?

Originality/value –This methodology aims to involve patients at all phases of the study from its initial design onwards, thus leading to an understanding of the issues associated with using a KMS to manage knowledge about and for patients that is driven by the patients themselves.

Practical implications – The outcomes of the project for the collaborating hospital will be firstly, a system for capturing and evaluating knowledge about and from patients, and then as a consequence, improved outcomes for both the patients and the service provider. More generally, it will produce a set of guidelines for managing patient knowledge in an NHS hospital that have been tested in one case example.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IFKAD 2014
Subtitle of host publicationknowledge and management models for sustainable growth
EditorsDaniela Carlucci, Giovanni Schiuma
Place of PublicationMatera (IT)
PublisherInstitute of Knowledge Asset Management
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-88-96687-04-8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Event9th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics - Matera, Italy
Duration: 11 Jun 201413 Jun 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of IFKAD
ISSN (Print)2280-787X


Forum9th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics
Abbreviated titleIFKAD 2014
OtherKnowledge and management models for sustainable growth


  • knowledge management systems
  • health care
  • patients
  • customer knowledge management
  • service management


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