[Guest post by Margo Coletti]
First, some background: The Silverman Symposium is an annual celebration of quality improvement at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the BID community hospitals, now in its 8th year. The Symposium is sponsored by the Silverman Institute for Health Care Quality & Safety (the QI department at BIDMC). The Symposium consists of a morning lecture, followed by two afternoon poster sessions to showcase our own safety and quality improvement initiatives. Each year, over 100 posters are mounted and displayed, either on paper or electronically. The number of posters has grown every year. For the 2015 symposium we had 183 posters. The poster session is our opportunity to show what we’ve accomplished and share our work with each other. During the session, we make connections, discuss our work, garner ideas, and learn from each other. This is knowledge sharing at its finest.
Last spring we asked ourselves: What happens after the Symposium? How can we help the ideas, the connecting, the learning, the sharing continue? Up until this year, the posters had been archived in PDF format on the Silverman Symposium website, but they were not searchable. They were not even discoverable unless the searcher knew the title and year of the poster. In the spring of 2014, after that year’s symposium, we approached a Silverman Institute director. We explained that we in Knowledge Services wanted to harness the knowledge represented by the posters and make it accessible after the symposium. This was an ideal opportunity to utilize and showcase our knowledge management (KM) skills.
With the approval and cooperation of the Silverman Institute, we applied for a Knowledge Management Pilot Project funding from the NN/LM NER. The goal of our project was to produce a searchable, openly-accessible repository of projects, represented by posters, in order to foster knowledge sharing both within the BID organizations and within the global healthcare community. The objectives were to:
- Organize the Silverman Posters PDFs into one searchable repository that is openly accessible and discoverable via Google or any other web search engine.
- Design a database that can be used by Knowledge Services as a blueprint for similar projects.
- Raise the level of awareness of the quality and safety projects which are undertaken each year in BIDMC.
- Raise the visibility and value of Knowledge Services.
The grant allowed us to hire a consultant, Brandy King, MLS, to provide technical expertise in the software selection and database design. It also paid for the first year’s software license. Knowledge Services Director, Margo Coletti, AMLS, AHIP and Senior Information Specialist, Nathan Norris, MLS, AHIP, worked with Brandy King and with Silverman Institute Director of Regulatory Affairs, Kathy Murray. Brandy came on board in August, 2015, and the database software, Omeka, was selected in September.
The work that went into designing the database was shared by everyone on the team. We considered the needs of all of the stakeholders: the database owners (Knowledge Services), the content owners (Silverman Institute), the authors (BID staff members), and the end users (healthcare professionals both within and outside of the BID organization). The Omeka software proved problematic in some areas and we had to work around the quirks and limitations. The most challenging piece was the taxonomy. We considered several options for building a searchable vocabulary and in the end we agreed that the Institute of Medicine’s quality indicators would be of greatest value to the organization. Diane Young, MLS, Information Specialist, joined the team in January, 2015, for the most labor-intensive phase of the project, the data input. By April 9th, the day of the 2015 Symposium, we had loaded, edited and tagged 644 posters, dating from 2012 through 2015.
Silverman Symposium Posters Online can now be viewed at http://bidmc.omeka.net . It is a work in progress as we are still adding the back file from 2006 through 2011. And starting with 2016, we will be reassessing our tags, perhaps adding other indicators of quality such as patient safety goals.
Our project has had an immediate impact on our organization in its recognition of the function and abilities of Knowledge Services. On April 23rd, we presented the database at the BIDMC Leadership Meeting. After the meeting, we were approached by two different people, representing Nursing and Ethics respectively, to work with each of them on different KM projects.
The database itself has contributed to the mission of the medical center, “extraordinary care, where the patient comes first, supported by world-class education and research.” Each of the QI projects represented by the posters is an exercise in knowledge sharing that benefits patient care, teaching and research. It allows our staff to learn from each other and it allows people outside the institution to learn from us as well.
Finally, as the project uses database technology to harness our internal knowledge assets to benefit our community of users, it serves as an example of KM in action (the 3-legged stool of KM: people, technology and knowledge assets). As such, our project was featured in a CE class at MLA 2015, “Knowledge Sharing for Improvement: Hospital Librarians as Knowledge Managers.”
We are grateful to the New England Region for their support.
Submitted by Margo Coletti, Director, Knowledge Services, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
This project has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN276201100010C with the University of Massachusetts, Worcester.