"Every lab has implemented some form of knowledge management, and the one that most labs would recognize is a standard operating procedure. Labs…don’t recognize it as KM but they have systems to maintain and review those procedures."
Former Infectious Disease manager, Public Health Lab, Minnesota Dept. of Health
Knowledge management is “the process of capturing, developing, sharing and effectively using organizational knowledge."* In a laboratory system, knowledge management involves developing performance standards, establishing and maintaining practices and procedures, extracting and storing tacit knowledge from the laboratory’s workforce, and making use of appropriate technologies.
Public health laboratories can become more efficient, quality driven and reliable by recording the evolution of best practices and capturing the nuances of applied methods, systems and techniques. Understanding the value of this process is the first step toward improvement.
APHL Knowledge Management Initiatives
APHL’s knowledge management initiatives aim to foster knowledge sharing and collaboration among association members, committees and staff. Its Knowledge Management for
PHLs presentation gives an overview of the association’s knowledge management (KM) effort, which encourages members to share knowledge, ranging from survey data to training to lessons learned through experience, as well as technical assistance and consultation. Other resources include
Knowledge Management for Public Health Laboratories, which describes how to implement a knowledge management approach, the
Knowledge Management Fact Sheet and the
Knowledge Management Infographic.
APHL members can take advantage of multiple association channels to exchange information including the
Member Resource Center, member listservs, national calls and in-person meetings.
*Davenport, Thomas H. (1994). "Saving IT's Soul: Human Centered Information Management." Harvard Business Review 72 (2): 119–131.