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What Is Health Knowledge Management?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson

Health knowledge management describes the ways in which health professionals help individuals access, store, use, and share information regarding health matters. Sometimes, it is practiced by health professionals who are responsible for educating the public and creating methods and resources that allow individuals greater access to information that can improve their health. Health knowledge management is also practiced in medical clinics. When doctors, surgeons, and nurses access and record information regarding treatments and patients' individual records, they are often taking advantage of systems that are a result of health knowledge management. While different health professionals have varying definitions for this term, most agree that health knowledge management is successful when people have greater access to accurate and current health data.

When successfully practiced by health professionals, knowledge management can result in a number of structures that provide health related information to medical professionals, educators, and the general public. Traditional publications, such as books and magazines, are a common structure of health knowledge management. Professionals who practice knowledge management might consult authors and publishers to ensure that information is accurate and clearly presented.


Library networks and other shared databases can also serve as platforms for health knowledge. Health knowledge managers continually update information about resources and institutions. These professionals might also promote such networks to educational institutions, clinics, libraries, and research facilities.

Health knowledge management professionals also develop websites that provide users with health related information. In these cases, knowledge managers might update website information to meet current standards and recommendations. They might also be responsible for increasing the visibility of websites by adding links and advertising in other resources.

Health clinics and education centers also rely health knowledge management. A primary goal of this practice is to disseminate information to the public and other health professionals. For this reason, whenever an individual visits a health clinic for information about treatments or best practices, he or she is taking advantage of a result of knowledge management.

Professionals who specialize in health knowledge management tend to have backgrounds in fields such as health education and public health. These individuals may work in hospitals where they are responsible for training staff and providing guidelines for treatments. They may also work for groups such as the World Health Organization (WHO), which specializes in creating health knowledge systems that can be accessed and shared by individuals all over the world.

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