This work examines the role of knowledge in the strategic process in the hospital industry. The research method consists of multiple case studies with eight hospitals located in Brazil. We analyzed the relationship among information, knowledge and capability creation. The cases shown that knowledge dissemination is a current management practice. Nevertheless, just one case presented a clear idea of the strategic role of knowledge management. Based on this evidence, we propose a three-step theoretical model related to the strategic management of knowledge. Most of the cases analyzed are in the first stage of the proposed model. On the other hand, the hospital in the third stage presented the following characteristics: a clear strategic focus related to knowledge access, dissemination and application, a mix of formal and informal practices related to knowledge creation, and a propitious internal environment in order to develop its capabilities.