Unlock the 5 Secrets to Keeping Wisdom in the Healthcare Workforce

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All contents copyright 2010 ASAE except where selections are reprinted with permission
of the copyright owner.



Unlock the 5 Secrets to
Keeping Wisdom in the
Healthcare Workforce

Friday, November 19, 2010

1:00 - 2:15 p.m.

Content Leaders:
Theresa Gaffney, RN, MPA, VP,
Gannett Healthcare Group

Wylecia Wiggs Harris, MM, CAE,
executive director, CENTER for
American Nurses


2010 Healthcare Association Conference
Chicago, IL
TO BE READ IN ADVANCE


2010 ASAE H
ealthcare Association Conference

Nov
ember
18
-
19, 2010

Chicago, IL


Keeping Wisdom in the Healthcare Workforce


Presented by:

Wylecia Wiggs Harris

Terri Gaffney



1.

Companies wanting to thrive and have a competitive edge must be skilled in
acquir
ing, cultivating, retaining, and using intellectual capital, in addition to physical
assets, to meet the needs of their customers and achieve their financial goals.
Intellectual capital is of particular importance in the healthcare industry, where the
work

involves entrusting critical life decisions to a professional, knowledgeable
workforce on a daily basis

(Weston, Estrada,
&
Carrington, 2007)
.




2.

With the rapid growth of a knowledge economy, knowledge management has
gradually
developed into an independent academic field.


3.

Definitions
:


Human capital is the knowledge, skills and experience of employees

(Edvinsson &
Malone
,
1997)
.


Nursing human capital is defined as the knowledge, skills and experience of nurses
(McGillis
&
Ha
ll
,

2003)
.


Knowledge is the capacity for effective action or decision
-
making in the context of
organized activity.


Knowledge is the fundamental factor of competition and companies with superior
knowledge are better equipped to coordinate and combine thei
r resources and
capabilities in such creative and unique ways that they provide higher values for their
customer

(
Zack, 1999)
.


TO BE READ IN ADVANCE

Professional knowledge is deeply embedded and implicit within and inseparable from
human practices and activities of the profess
ional grou
p

(Polany,
1
996
;

Tsoukas
,
1996)
.


Human capital depletion is the loss of employees with knowledge and skills that are
of value to the organization

(Bontis & Fitz
-
enz
,

2002
)
.

This is also termed “lost
knowledge”
.


Nursing human capital and struct
ural capital contribute to the provision of high
quality, safe patient care and organizational performance. Quality of patient care is
reflected in

patient outcomes such as reduced rates of hospital
-
acquired infections
(McGillis

&

Hall
,
2003)
.





4.

Human
Knowledge is comprised of
:

a.

Social knowledge


develops when working with groups and teams. It is
relationship driven and shapes how the team functions
.

b.

Cultu
ral knowl
edge


relates to organizational beliefs and standards and how
things get normalized within and as part of the environment
.


c.

Structured knowledge


t
he organizational systems, processes, tools, and
routines that are explicit, rules based and critical provi
de knowledge of
protocol and evidence
-
based practices and regulations

(Sherman, 2009)
.

TO BE READ IN ADVANCE


5.

Leonard and Swa
p
term these knowledge workers’/professionals’ skills as “deep
smarts.” Deep smarts are the experience
-
based store of tacit and explicit knowledge
that a
llows people to understand issues, put together patterns, and come to correct
conclusions w
ith startling swiftness

(Leonard & Swap, 2004)
.


6.

Firms must have strategies for preventing knowledge loss.


7.

Costs of Lost Knowledge
:


Reduced capacity to innovate


Thr
eatened ability to pursue growth strategies


Reduced efficiencies


Increased advantage to competitors


Increased vulnerability


8.

Knowledge Transfer Processes

can be
:

a.

linear process
es
;

b.

cyclical processes; and

c.

dynamic multi
-
directional processes
.


9. When yo
u need to transfer knowledge, the method must suit the culture.


10.
Strategies for
Creating a Legacy of Wisdom


(
Capturing Tacit Knowledge
)

a.

Guided Practice


knowledge fairs, narratives

(storytelling)
,

self
-
reflection

b.

G
uided Observation


shadowing and f
eedback
, knowledge extrapolation
interview

c.

Guided Problem Solving


mentoring
, alumni communities, debriefings

d.

Guided Experimentation


si
mulation
d
evices,
c
omputer
-
based learning


Knowledge transfer must be a strategic imperative in most healthcare sett
ings in the very
near future.



Resources


DeLong
,

D
.
W.

(2004).
Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce.

New York, NY: Oxford University Press Inc.


Leonard
,

D
. &

Swap
,

W.

(2004).
Deep smarts.
Harv
ard Business Review
.
82(9):88

97.