This research examines how knowledge and information are managed within two care networks. We develop a conceptual framework drawing on the notion of brokering and the 3T framework, which is used to describe the relative complexity of boundaries (referred to in the framework as syntactic, semantic and pragmatic) as well as capabilities and processes required to exchange information within the network. Previous research on brokering has focused on healthcare managers and professionals, but this research extends to patients and caregivers. Understanding knowledge exchange and brokering practices in healthcare is critical to the delivery of effective services.
For this case research, non-participant observation and experienced-based interviews were undertaken with healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers within two care networks.
The findings reveal brokering roles occupied by healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers support the transfer, translation and transformation of knowledge and information across functional and organisational boundaries. Enablers and disablers to brokering and the exchange of knowledge and information are also identified.
The study is limited to two care networks for long-term conditions within the UK. Further research opportunities exist to examine similar care networks that extend across professional and organisational boundaries.
This research informs healthcare professionals of the brokering capabilities that occur within networks and the enabling and disabling factors to managing knowledge across boundaries.