Original Article | Open Access
Effective Application of Knowledge Management in Evidence-Based Chinese Medicine: A Case Study
Chinese medicine (CM) practice, as a knowledge-based industry, has not embraced knowledge management (KM) techniques widely. However, KM may facilitate the adaptation and promotion of evidence-based CM. A KM framework was introduced to its activities in evidence-based CM through the development of a CM portal. A codification strategy was used to codify and store knowledge systematically in a database. Several approaches were developed and implemented to address specific needs for CM such as centralizing the information, encouraging collective efforts, promoting integration of explicit and tacit knowledge, and developing a flexible technology and support system. Following the established KM framework, the RMIT Chinese Medicine Portal (www.chinese-medicine.com.au) was built up with four major components: organizational knowledge, knowledge workers, KM processes and information technology. Knowledge on Chinese herbs was classified into core, advanced and innovative categories, which involved the development of the monograph template. A working group was organized including CM, pharmacology and information technology professionals to implement this proposal with following sequential development stages: knowledge creation/acquisition, storage/organization, distribution and application. User interface and web language were also defined and accomplished. This case study demonstrates the applicability of KM in evidence-based CM through a multidisciplinary collaboration, such as, an effective collaboration between CM and information technology. The study also shows the potential of KM application in other disciplines of complementary and alternative medicine.
Copyright © 2009 Angela Weihong Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.