Health Systems

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 185–198

Knowledge sharing and health-care coordination: the role of creation and use brokers

  • Marco Marabelli
  • Sue Newell
  • Chantal Krantz
  • Jacky Swan
Original Article

DOI: 10.1057/hs.2014.8

Cite this article as:
Marabelli, M., Newell, S., Krantz, C. et al. Health Syst (2014) 3: 185. doi:10.1057/hs.2014.8


This paper arises from research that examined a health-care coordination improvement initiative that was focused on increasing knowledge sharing among a network of health-care workers involved in the care of children with complex medical needs. Part of this initiative involved a summary medical note (the Single Point of Care (SPOC)) that was paper-based and carried by parents between the specialists involved in their child’s care. The SPOC’s effectiveness is discussed through a knowledge-as-practice perspective, which focuses on the role of mediators (both material and human). Our analysis demonstrates that the SPOC’s effectiveness can be understood by looking at the combined roles of boundary objects and human brokers. We identify two distinct broker roles: creation brokers and use brokers. In discussing our case, we extend our analysis to suggest how these broker roles may also be useful in thinking about how to improve the effectiveness of (electronic) health record systems more generally – for researchers as well as for practitioners.


knowledge management in health care knowledge sharing practice perspective boundary objects knowledge brokers 

Copyright information

© Operational Research Society Ltd 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Marabelli
    • 1
  • Sue Newell
    • 2
  • Chantal Krantz
    • 3
  • Jacky Swan
    • 4
  1. 1.Information and Process Management (IPM) DepartmentBentley UniversityWalthamU.S.A.
  2. 2.Management Department and IPM DepartmentBentley UniversityWalthamU.S.A.
  3. 3.Corporate Patient Services, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)OttawaCanada
  4. 4.Warwick Business SchoolCoventryU.K.