Academic journal article Journal of Sociological Research

Sociological Overview of Knowledge Management in Macro Level Health Care Decision-Making

Academic journal article Journal of Sociological Research

Sociological Overview of Knowledge Management in Macro Level Health Care Decision-Making

Article excerpt

Abstract

Purpose - The study aimed at providing a thorough conceptual overview of knowledge management as a critical conduit in ensuring effective macro level health care decision-making. Design/Methodology/Approach - Unobtrusive methodology involving content analysis was adopted for the study. Relevant contemporary literature were systematically reviewed to inform the discussion made in the paper. Findings - The study revealed that knowledge management though well grounded and utilized by the business sector, its application in informing health care decision-making, particularly at the macro level is weak. This amplifies the relevance of the study in providing the basis upon which knowledge management can be built and institutionalized in informing macro level health care decision-making.

Research limitations/Implications - Macro level health care decision-makers as a matter of urgency need to embrace the utilization of knowledge management as an important precursor in making effective health care decision-making. It is highly recommended that knowledge management be perceived and pursued in a systemic fashion in order to maximize its gains in the health care sector. This cannot be more important especially in an era of evidence-based medical practice. Originality/Value - Evidently, knowledge management and its application in informing macro level health care decision-making is lacking, in spite of the prominent nature of its application in many other spheres of human endeavour, particularly in the business sector. A conceptual overview of knowledge management and its application in informing macro level health care decision-making, therefore, provides the intellectual platform in fortifying knowledge management in macro level health care decision-making.

Key words - Knowledge Management, Knowledge System, Knowledge Processes, Health Care, Macro Level, Decision-Making, Evidence-Based Medicine, Organizational Success.

Paper Type - Conceptual Paper

Introduction

Knowledge management in the context of health care decision-making, particularly, at the macro level remains under explored. The literature is relatively mute on the main knowledge form as well as various knowledge management strategies used in informing macro level health care decision-making. This needs to be understood in order to identify the conditions that facilitate and/or impede the decision making processes. Again, an understanding of the knowledge management processes in macro level health care decision-making will assist in creating the enabling organizational culture to sustain effective management of knowledge.

This is critical because modern health care systems, particularly at the macro level, are confronted with the task of effectively managing the resources necessary for improving the health and wellbeing of those they are committed to serving. Fulfilling this task successfully implies sound and effective decision making at critical points throughout the entire system. Contemporary health care systems can be divided into macro-, meso-, and micro-levels of decision-making. Each level has a distinct mandate, but all are intertwined somehow to contribute to overall health care system performance.

Macro-level decisions involve the overall planning, organizing, delivery and evaluation of health services within the health care organization. Decisions made at this level are entrusted in the hands of decision-makers who generally are not medical staff, but non medical experts with experience to serve as advisors and to oversee the functions and operations of a health organization.

Administrative decisions and priorities made by the senior management working in collaboration with health care professionals and local stakeholder groups take place at the meso-level of the health care decision-making process. Decisions made at this level have to be endorsed by the macro-level health care decision-makers, some being politicians or appointed by politicians as an advisory board . …

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