An exploration of knowledge sharing practices of medical practitioners at Princess Marina Hospital, Botswana
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
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The main purpose of the study was to explore the knowledge sharing practices of medical practitioners at Princess Marina Hospital, a public hospital in Botswana. Although the sharing of knowledge amongst medical practitioners has been found to have the potential to help in improving service delivery in health care, there is limited literature available to help in understanding how this can be effectively implemented in health care organisations. The study used the knowledge sharing model as a lens to understand the knowledge sharing practices of medical practitioners at Princess Marina Hospital. It focused on three main factors, which influence knowledge sharing performance in organizations. These factors are knowledge sharing process, knowledge sharing means and knowledge sharing governance mechanism. The study adopted an interpretive paradigm and is qualitative. It employed a case study research design to collect empirical data through interviews and observation. A combination of convenience and purposive sampling technique were used to identify 16 participants, who took part in the study. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse data. Themes were identified and coded, and categories and relationships were established. Out of the 16 study participants, 11 were medical practitioners, made up of nurses and doctors, across the various levels of the hospital, two members of executive management, one head of medical department, one librarian and one head of Information Communication Technology (ICT). The findings revealed that there are various formal procedures guiding knowledge sharing amongst medical practitioners at Princess Marina hospital such as induction programme, job rotation, medical teams and mentorship of new doctors. In addition, the findings found that there are various platforms used by medical practitioners to share and seek knowledge. Just like in other professions, medical practitioners have also taken advantage of modern technology to communicate and collaborate with others through e-mails and the internet. Furthermore, traditional forms of communication and collaboration, such as lectures, face-to-face meetings, weekly reporting meetings, shift change, workshops and seminars, as well as trainings, are used. Lastly, the findings reveal that although the hospital is doing its best to promote knowledge sharing amongst medical practitioners, lack of resources, lack of knowledge sharing strategy, time constraints and lack of equipment hinder effective knowledge sharing at the hospital. Overall, the findings reveal an appreciation of the efforts made by the hospital to facilitate knowledge sharing amongst employees and the importance of this in improving the delivery of health care. It is important that key resources, such as the development of a knowledge sharing strategy and a centralised knowledge repository, are put in place to ensure timely retrieval and access to information and knowledge.