This article reviews the varieties of knowledge that have to be used in mental health care, and points out some of the unique features of knowledge management in this area. It focuses on the use of types of tacit knowledge—from know-how to emotion. It acknowledges the role played by mediated knowledge, which becomes part of the disposition and interplay of power in both staff-patient and interstaff relationships. Conventional information systems, based on transaction models (such as databases) do not always answer the needs of practitioners in this environment; consideration is given to process-based systems as a means of both generating knowledge and forming the pivotal point between technologically-mediated knowledge (largely explicit) and behaviorally or linguistically mediated knowledge (mostly tacit). As an exploratory study, primary data were obtained from mental health practitioners using a grounded theory approach and discourse analysis.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Process-Based Systems: Systems that encapsulate or enact business processes. Examples may be workflow systems, CRM systems, groupware, electronic patient records.
Evidence-Based Practice: The use of external evidence, including random trials, rather than a reliance on clinical authority.
Organizational Climate: The atmosphere that employees perceive in their organizations. It is created by practices, procedures, and rewards.
Organizational Culture: The broad set of commonly held attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions that characterize an organization.