Volume 39 Number 2: >>  Transforming data into action to improve the transformation of data


Translating knowledge into practice and policy: the role of knowledge networks in primary health care
Kylie Armstrong and Elizabeth Kendall p9 [ pdf


The translation of information into practice is a well-recognised challenge for the health sector. In the primary healthcare sector, the last decade has seen an explosion of information generated by health systems, universities and a range of other sources. Without a system for translating that knowledge into practice and sharing it in a comprehensible form, it will remain meaningless to most practitioners. We propose the establishment of Knowledge Networks as a promising method for supporting the rapid adoption and generation of health information within the primary health care sector to advance health care services. These networks will be particularly important to the implementation of the national reform agenda, responsive decision-making and the translation of new frameworks or competencies into practice. This paper describes how interdisciplinary Knowledge Networks could be established focusing on a number of priority health research areas. Local Knowledge Networks would be used as a platform to support a collaborative web of evidence designed to influence health policy and planning. Our experience with Knowledge Networks indicates that they must be comprised of health professionals from Divisions of General Practice, researchers, policy-makers, consumers, government and non-government sectors. This paper will describe these networks and show how they might support the translation of knowledge into practice, thus driving systematic and institutional change.

Rethinking health planning: a framework for organising information to underpin collaborative health planning
Ori Gudes, Elizabeth Kendall, Tan Yigitcanlar and Virenda Pathak and Scott Baum p18 
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The field of collaborative health planning faces significant challenges created by the narrow focus of the available information, the absence of a framework to organise that information and the lack of systems to make information accessible and guide decision-making. These challenges have been magnified by the rise of the ‘healthy communities movement’, resulting in more frequent calls for localised, collaborative and evidence-driven health related decision-making. This paper discusses the role of decision support systems as a mechanism to facilitate collaborative health decision-making. The paper presents a potential information management framework to underpin a health decision support system and describes the participatory process that is currently being used to create an online tool for health planners using geographic information systems. The need for a comprehensive information management framework to guide the process of planning for healthy communities has been emphasised. The paper also underlines the critical importance of the proposed framework not only in forcing planners to engage with the entire range of health determinants, but also in providing sufficient flexibility to allow exploration of the local setting-based determinants of health.

Professional practice and innovation: Chronic disease, geographic location and socioeconomic disadvantage as obstacles to equitable access to e-health
Hoon Han, Naomi Sunderland, Elizabeth Kendall, Ori Gudes and Garth Henniker p30 
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This paper describes the method used to develop the One Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC) Portal, an open source web-based electronic patient record system (EPR) for the One Stop Crisis Center, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) in Kelantan, Malaysia. Features and functionalities of the system are presented to demonstrate the workflow. Use of the OSCC Portal improved data integration and data communication and contributed to improvements in care management. With implementation of the OSCC portal, improved coordination between disciplines and standardisation of data in HUSM were noticed. It is expected that this will in turn result in improved data confidentiality and data integrity. The collected data will also be useful for quality assessment and research. Other low-resource centers with limited computer hardware and access to open-source software could benefit from this endeavour.

© 2010 Health Information Management Journal of the Health Information Management Association of Australia Ltd