Date of Conferral
Rising costs and continued risks in patient care indicate that knowledge management (KM) tools have not been fully recognized in healthcare. A case study was conducted to determine how KM tools might support the decision-making process of interprofessional teams. The study was predominately qualitative with a quantitative supplemental component. A questionnaire was used to collect data; this questionnaire contained open-ended questions along with Baggs' Collaboration and Satisfaction about Care Decisions and Anderson & West's Team Climate Inventory instruments. Responses to open-ended questions were reviewed, categorized, and coded as part of the qualitative analysis. Descriptive statistics were completed from Likert scale responses. Participants were selected from existing interprofessional transitional care teams in clinics at a VA hospital; a total of 29 participants volunteered. The framework of decision making and KM was the basis for the study. The research concentrated on interprofessional teams' environment characteristics of trust, collaboration, and sharing. The intended goal of the study was to understand how satisfaction in the delivery of collaborative care decisions and the team climate might influence the success of using or implementing KM tools. Key findings included the importance of communication to support teams' knowledge sharing and collaboration; findings also revealed how the satisfaction in the patient care decision-making process may influence a team's climate for innovation, collaboration, and sharing. These insights may inform the development and implementation of healthcare KM tools. Through the use of KM tools to support clinical decision making, opportunities become available to improve patient care and reduce costs, which lead to a positive social change in minimizing the disparity in the healthcare delivery system.