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Essay: Reflective account – data, information & knowledge management in the NHS and academia

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  • Subject area(s): Health essays
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  • Published: June 16, 2021*
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  • Reflective account - data, information & knowledge management in the NHS and academia
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This reflective account, looks at solving problems, using attitudes, values, beliefs, and how critical thinking can be applied to how data and information should be correctly used throughout any organisation, as an example to assist with critical thinking, two main theme areas will be used throughout National Health Service (NHS) and academia. Applying critical thinking to NHS/academia when thinking about what is “Information Resource Management”, the first thought process is? Why would we use it? Well to the NHS (organisations)/or in academic it is used to improve performance, while relating to business or governmental goals and objectives.  Having an understanding for any kind of activities associated with making effective use of information technology within an organisation is important; from finding ways of accomplishing tasks, goals, performance, while at the same time finding ways of reducing processes to manage unwanted data.  Strategic categorization of data within the management process is important for ensuring proper creation and finding ways of driving technologies forward.   It is important as mentioned by Floyd, and Lane, “how organizational controls align role expectations with the type and pace … Such expectations define the modal behaviours of a role and form the basis of individuals, Unlike primary role sets, secondary role sets are often neither explicitly defined” (Floyd & Lane, 2000).  It is vital for organisations while reflecting upon how they use resource management to gain better outcomes. This whole concept was new and difficult to comprehend at first within the first week, to push my own knowledge, not just Medical Health but while looking at different disciplines for guidance.

 

Many organisations like the NHS/Academia, try to understand data that flows from the resource of the management process, as a whole. This process could shape the direction of the company expectations and improve its own understanding (Jackson, & Schuler, 1995).  Through learning about data within the resource management process, you can critical analysis why it is as important as depending on role of the organisation as it could directly increase practices, and at the same time improve communities within structure of the company through understanding different functionalities (Youndt, Snell, Dean & Lepak, 1996; Chervenak, Foster, Kesselman, Salisbury, & Tuecke, 2000).  It is vital that when reflecting to think about how data is used, not just within processes but how individuals perceive them. These concepts can be documents within policy conflicts, stakeholder’s views and directions, landscaping resources, and perception changes.  Data is important, not just how individual share, but how we as individuals from the staff to the chairperson would extract and direct the organisations to be successful.  Again, the initial concepts around this, was important due to complexity of the different functionalities associated within organisations.

 

Through understanding, information from a reflective point of view would enable organisations to influence the competencies on the process(s), improve performance, while monitoring management assets and developing better resource systems.   Leonard-Barton, (1995) agrees to the points within the reflective points above about understanding information is important and this can assist in growth, while offering “successful product development” (Leonard-Barton, 1995). Large organisations like the NHS must be aware of how valuable data, and how it is shared within information I think after understanding why data is important, how information flows, and why organisations would wish to know this, it is key to steer organisations to be successful, in which as mentioned above helps with growth. It is amazing how data and information is so important for any organisation even if it is in organisation. Like, Davenport & Short (1990) indicates that when explaining information and in particular different types of information and knowledge, it is key for organisations to offer a variety of different processes that can have wealth of capabilities and features to enable growth, management processes, mechanism for gaining advantages from a repository stream. It is vital as mentioned that reviewing these processes were needed, as I personally found policies, and solutions can support data and management to ensure organisations can corporate new ideas.  This whole idea of sharing data can be applied to many concepts like mentioned be NHS, military, organisations to the British library. It is important that if you can data derived information you can steer a company to be successful. This was the key point that I personally found. Finding links, and how it can be manipulated to assist in future directions or to avoid difficult situations with shareholders at meetings.

 

Processing this type of knowledge is quite complex and difficult to monitor, and hence knowledge management, which the whole discipline was born from. Interesting concepts and a need for it too, from a reflective point.   Through Knowledge Management, Assets can be controlled, and policies can be implemented, for aspects on where, what or where new technologies can be applied to.  This whole idea of knowledge management can assist organisations with critical monitoring and give opportunity for the development of new programmes, products, etc. For different rational in their sector of choice.  The NHS could use knowledge management to work out, business process and see if they can reduce cost to generate profits or add value to procedures within health service.

 

From using the approaches above, within a reflective approach organisation can imply a more tactical approach that enables companies to extract ways of acquiring new knowledge for future use, and this can assist in creating new products or services. Within any knowledge, management systems will see organisation take the opportunities to innovate and ‘implicit’ and ‘personal knowledge’. The benefits of this type of approach of using traditional and then Knowledge Management was to again from a reflective point, was to see financial advantages, commercial gain, and competitiveness over other organisations. The use of IT systems, through the implementations of working frameworks, models and software applications, enables organisations to “acquire -> Integrate -> apply -> knowledge “(Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995). This again can be seen through the work carried out by (Choo, Linderman, and Schroeder, (2007) who recommended that knowledge can be improved by creation and adhering to certain methodologies to assist management when creating a more diverse experience.  Companies, or large organisations like the NHS do need skills and knowledge to exploit and create innovative skills, for abilities.  This enables the organisation from a point of view to widely accept a range of strategies and adapt to multiple needs from private, commercial to health sector like the NHS when applying new products/services.  It is important that Knowledge Management systems be used intensively when acquiring new ideas, or when organisations are in need of pushing for new ‘competitive advantages’, as this will allow them to adapt.  Knowledge Information Systems are evolving and adapting to support not just the needs of existing marketing but adapting to support future trends also. This was achieved through working on and building upon tacit knowledge, within existing systems like that of social media (Facebook), where ideas can be shared within an organisation using community of practice learning approaches. It is important while looking at organisation, like the NHS, Tesco’s, ASDA, etc. that the diversity of information which is used within is so diverse and it has become a normal integrated process. This lays the foundation of how information flows in and around different departments, and illustrates, how structures, within organisations are important, and channels of information’s is needed within the information structure.

 

Through beliefs, culture, values, skills, or models/frameworks, components of any organisation is vital for organisation to succeed and it is this that must be taken seriously. The right people must be in the right places, either on a micro level, or being allocated certain tasks based upon interdependencies (Meade & Sarkis,1999), in which contributions are made or other members rely on others before something else can be done or achieved within whole process, this could be stuck delivery, ordering to tracking distributing within warehouses.  Again, it is vital, that the members within the organisation, make a collective contribution to ensure that ethos of maintaining and building organisational culture can be carried out effectively and efficiently.  These beliefs from the workforce or cultures are important and should be influenced from the structural management that would support sub-cultures or promote awareness to strength of the culture that enables individuals to shared values and beliefs at the centre of any organisation.

These organisations that use cultures, values, skills can influence the effect of flow of information that travels throughout the whole needs, from every day to Senior Management Team (SMT). The amalgamation of the use by the individuals suggests that information processes will also affect relationship between information flow and Modes of Organisational, which could directly assist in decision making.  Through reflection is important to look at other researchers in the field, like Choo (1996, 1998) that indicated two philosophical thoughts within this particular process, 1) – decision making systems and rational; 2) – sense making, reduce equivocality that is associated within the environments and their inputs. These two philosophical thoughts belonging to Decision and Sense Making, can have a major impact on an organisation from how, they define the decision making in regards to (rational thinking; habits; personal experience; to political gender); which in the terms of sense making, will depend on the knowledge they have at hand, based round the individual’s latitude experience and interpretations of the current situation.   Again, referring to these approaches from a reflective point, both provides an ‘air’ of caution depending on the complexity of the processes and decisions that are required. Organisations have interconnected the processes together through ensuring information can “knowledge cycle” through from the top (SMT) to the work floor ensuring that goals are met, and expected outcomes can be achieved through guiding workforce with implementing behaviour, decision making, and developing services that can assist them to achieve. This holistic through using the knowledge cycle from a reflective point of view, would assist the NHS, Supermarkets, Large organisations to adapt to manufacturing needs, competencies, functionalities, product delivery, to overall improvement within the core business.  But with any advantage to a process, there are always some limitations too, from trying to find an optimised of information flow, reconfigurations might be needed, or new models/approaches might need to be implemented for example: “The Venkatraman model”, which uses a 5 level approach, that would need organisations to reconfigure and restructure approaches, to maximise attitude for success.  The 5 levels include starting from level 1: “Localised exploitation, internal integration, Business process redesign; Business network redesign to finally Business scope redefinition”.   The whole idea of the model is to understand the IT needs and how to support growing needs from corporate threats and recognising new opportunities. Through learning new approaches an organisation can gain competitive advantage by mastering proficiency when looking at influences and shared visions right across the structure of the organisation.  There was a big drive, similar to this from Tesco’s when they introduced the BOYD’s and new concepts to assist in whole process of dealing with information (EssentialRetail, 2016). Allowing information like this to flow would alternately improve how an organisation functions, and what influences it has over the competitors.   This would enable the Organisation Structure to design relationships that are built upon rules, job descriptions, and would provide a suitable ethos within purpose of the organisation.  The point that must be taken from the above is how to assess the technological and understand the roles that IT plays within the organisation and how this shape the scope of the direction.  Can technology strategies shape and improve significance that would assist capabilities and functionalities.  The information infrastructure should be able to provide Strategic Value, and relevance is, from the product to the services that it offers while fulfilling its original design capabilities.   From a reflective point of view, IT would assist in being able to reach not just the stakeholder’s needs, which would be the Government, for the NHS but also the patient’s needs. This whole approach bringing in strategic relevance’s, into the value of chain while examining future trends of what could be or assisting in future decision making to allow the company to diversify.

 

These values (Strategic Value) would assist in the organisation in fulfilment of the business strategy and provide tactical perspective of IT support required to deliver current or future needs. The whole need of reviewing the information system while defining the needs of future changes to the NHS, would again come down to looking at a series of infrastructure needs, from Management Information Systems to Communication, as mentioned above; however, the key is, from reflecting is that without these key technological advancements, organisations could not efficiently manage their operations.  The ideas of defining a well-designed information system would assist in making decisions and achieve competitive advantage, while offering a better internal and external communications channels not just stakeholders but employees and finally customers.   The NHS would be able to adapt and compete for advanced ordering systems relating to medicine, relating to Globalization, and integration within competitive arena.  The key thing here is whenever, the NHS would introduce a new service, or product and it involves as new IT infrastructure, evaluation would be key from either changing policies, or even implementing new strategies (information) ones that could analyse information sources for reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, to point of view belonging to the customer/stakeholders needs. Through the reflection process, the NHS could carry out an evaluation, of existing or new IT systems, which would enable any organisation to look at credentials, affiliations, the objectives, the structure to accuracy and what the implied content was. Trauth, (1989) suggests that through evaluating information policies and information strategies, existing/redundant policies can be reduced, and this can ensure fresh modern update policies for “effective acquisition and utilization of computer and telecommunications resources” (p1), are in place, which would promote a better ethos for any organisation.   Through these, guidance can be implemented that looks at not just IT but how information is held, or set, management of legislations, to developing consistent informed policies for all staff ensuring success and where needed additional adequate guidance on how to use the systems.

The flow of information can be seen as a way of communicating to the whole organisation if patterns have been set up correctly depending on if the technology is set up correctly.  Another way of looking at this from a self-developmental point of view is that some organisations might use several approaches or integrate techniques that ensure no matter what everyone has a say. Achieve this through using the Star or wheel, in which organisations would ensure that patterns within company means stakeholders could contact and acknowledge the existence everything within the business, like the NHS, as an example.  Organisation structures are extremely important as it allows the network to be put within a prescriptive way, in which rules can be controlled, and monitored. This acts like a bureaucratic approach; however, it is important to maintain and control staff from all levels.  To expand on this, there others on how information and communication, play an important part within any organisation like the how the use of sub-groups, or the chain of command, in which senior management team, will communicate to the others to pass on message using (top-down) to facilitate message.  This will ensure performance, and centralized structures are always used, while managing teams, efficiently and effectively. As mentioned by Gupta, & Govindarajan, (1991) knowledge through corporations is important and how it is analysed can make all the difference when looking at how this can be shared across different dimensions, or subsidiaries.

 

Reflecting upon the advancement of data through knowledge and infrastructure comes that increasing problem of issue of information overload. This it-self, can, cause serious troubles to staff due to how the organisational structure is set up and configured.  Information overload can be somewhat unhealthy to the staff, depending on the specifics and requirements of the business.  Reflecting upon the earlier example of the NHS, staff would be making complex decisions every day; however, with additional equipment this could put harm to judgements on making sensible decisions or even causing wrong decisions.

It is important for organisations to understand and relate to information, which can stretch from anything from staff or new staff, not: Not understanding the existing information, feeling inundated by huge amounts of information, too much to comprehend, and in some cases not having the correct privilege access, which would cause unnecessary harm. Through this module it shows, that there is issues with technologies, gadgets, and the sheer amount of data that is required for people within the organisation to process every day.  With the NHS as an example, from a reflective point of review, Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD), through tablets or mobiles could cause additional stress and strain by extra data being sent to the NHS staff, via X-rays, Videos, multimedia’s, to large volumes of patient data sets.  Some of this aspect, can be seen as a disadvantage to an organisation too, from the message to spam. If the organisation doesn’t pick the correct communication model, then this could lead to individuals facing or suffering serious stress-related diseases. Individuals might become highly selective, ignore a large amount of data, and give up on particular tasks, which is needed to ensure the organisation to run effectively and efficiently within the area of information management.

 

There are many issues surrounding information management, and the roles of interdependent components that shift characteristics that it plays, from individuals to others like performance, perspectives and socially defined roles. Stakeholders focuses on pressures from a globalised world and this means that from a reflective point, using NHS as an example, they would need to look at structures and processes, as well as groups processes.  Stakeholders look at theories and resources to reduce relationships that could cause exchange issues or concerns with groups or to reduce the controlling the flow of human resources.  Information Management, from a perspective looks at resource-based, economics literature, to human capital investments and their returns.   Issues look at how costs can affect economics within the organisations to the structures, and transactions to ways for finding competitive advantage.  Organisations will stem to find ways of looking at ways of resolving these from finding suitable resources, to creating suitable structures, controlling activities; to finding a positive competitive advantage. From a reflective point of view, it is important that the NHS would look at resources, from technologies human resources to business needs.

It is important with any information system, even that of the NHS, those organisations look at and make important decisions over risks, or even try to manage them.  It is vital, when looking at information, this could be colleagues sending emails, or streams of files, they are creating, storing and discovering information at the point of creation. Depending on the structure, this relates back to previous weeks, this information can get lost or not sent, depending on IT setup, organisation structure, or even relevance depending on status of staff members.  This can lead to Risks depending on the importance of assets, or the origins of information, if in this case was the NHS, reflecting upon the sensitivity. Citroen, (2011) suggested a model about decision flows, which looks at “Preparation, Analyses, Specification, Limiting, Assessment, Final” (Figure 3), and which enables “Information plays a crucial role in reducing uncertainty and judging alternative options” (P1).  Reflecting upon what Citroen (2011) indicates; when applying this to NHS, it would be important to look at factors like, Project Management, outside factors, expectations, individuals to the organisation itself. This is measures that can protect the organisation from these issues mentioned above, but this means compliance towards the ISO 27001 stands “Information Security Management” which how an organisation will manage sensitive information to keep things secure.   This whole concept of information management falls in categories like, management plans, security policies, procedures, methods and standards. Again, using the NHS or an education institution, from a large organisation and a reflective point of view, these should be checked against, factors like the ISO31000 risk management guidelines, from how a new product is implemented and completely followed through, that they can have a benchmark.  The benchmarks, when applying a new procedure, or the implementation of new infrastructure will ensure, “accessibility, consistency, accuracy” (White 2018, pp33).   When reflecting upon the data, and information of any new infrastructure the organisation should at all time, should keep details confidential, which makes for stakeholders to come up with strategies, and plans, to balance rights not just belonging to the workforce but also public. This would be a keen area of interest for the NHS, when implementing new IT systems, or products.  White (2018) does indicate, from a reflective point that NHS could apply when looking at a new system implementation could introduce like aspects of corporate values from “caring, creative, consistent, to captivating”.   This aspect of bringing in corporate values, could assist in the development of future values, or competition of new products, that can compete against other organisations. It is important for any organisation to protect their own interests this can be down through a number of different Intellectual Property Rights laws like Copyright, designed, and patents Act (1988).

 

Conclusion.

 

Critically reviewing this whole module has been extremely difficult in parts, due to the concepts, complexity and depending on the (culture, beliefs, and covered to ensure that the correct infrastructure is in place, technologies, top-down, or circle communication links. If for example, this was done right, then the workforce would or could suffer information overload and stress, which within the 21st century you don’t want, technology should be solution, not the cause.  Having an understanding of the flow of data is key, as this would enable teams to work out the correct teams, technology equipment, policies and procedures to ensure risk is kept to a minimum.  From an overall point of view, this module has been enlightening and offers some interesting and challenging debates, from why use one frame to another to assist in the development of channels. If I could do this whole module again, I would look at different models, or explore different frameworks, while looking at maybe different organisations, or policies as to explore more in details. This is a very large area of interest and to cover everything is not always possible but having enough knowledge to feel that I can apply to different structures, solutions to assist in companies trying to compete against others within the sectors, either commercial to the NHS.  values).  For an organisation, if they adopt a wrong model, then this can dynamically affect the work force, in so many ways: from how data and information is acquired to communicated with SMT.

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