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What we do
The Center for Clinical Knowledge Management (CCKM) evaluates and organizes evidence to drive clinical decisions that promote efficiency, consistency, and quality throughout UW Health.
Developing clinical practice tools (guidelines, protocols, order sets, etc.) that promote evidence-based care across the continuum of health needs
Standardizing clinical decision support tools to decrease unwarranted variation in care and improve safety
Enabling the adoption of evidence-based practices and decision making
Providing a single point of contact and substantive support for any UW Health committee, department or care team wishing to develop a clinical practice tool for managing the care of UW Health patients
Beacon protocols: Beacon protocols, treatment plans and supportive care plans are tools in Health Link that facilitate ordering of serial therapies, including chemotherapy and blood products with orders arranged by cycle and day.
Best practice alerts (BPA): A type of clinical decision support tool in Health Link that provides the user with patient-specific treatment recommendations.
Clinical policies: Mandatory instructional writings that directly affect patient care and are subject to discipline if not followed.
Clinical practice guidelines: Systematically developed statements to assist practitioner and patient decision-making about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.
Delegation/practice protocols: Unalterable set of orders/steps that address a specified clinical problem. Delegation protocols allow physicians to delegate medical acts to non-ordering clinical staff. Practice protocols address consistent practice for specified clinical problems that do not involve delegation of medical acts.
Inpatient order sets: Predefined combination of order choices for a specific diagnosis, patient population, condition or event that supports evidence based practice, quality, safety and outcomes reporting.
Patient assessment tools: Validated questionnaires and scales used to screen for symptoms and disorders or evaluate the status of a patient.
Preventive health care and health maintenance: A type of Health Link tool that emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention by tracking when patients are due for certain routine care, such as lab tests and immunizations.
Frequently asked questions
Every year, the Center for Clinical Knowledge Management hosts several hundred working group meetings focusing on the development and maintenance of clinical practice guidelines, clinical policies and other tools. More than 500 physicians and other UW Health staff members contribute their time to the development of those tools.
In addition, more than 100 physicians and other clinicians contribute to the maintenance of our UW Health Preventive Care Guideline. Our advisory board, the Clinical Knowledge Management Council, has more than 40 members who help make the Center for Clinical Knowledge Management work a success.
Keeping physicians and other key stakeholders engaged in knowledge management activities leverages one of UW Health's key assets — the clinical expertise of our faculty and staff.
The Center for Clinical Knowledge Management began in July 2010.
We have clinicians and non-clinicians working in the Center for Clinical Knowledge Management. Our staff includes pharmacists, psychologists, nurses and a physical therapist. Among our non-clinician staff, we have experts with backgrounds in engineering, biostatistics, library science and business. Our diversity allows us to contribute to a wide range of projects that call on all of the skills of CCKM professionals.
As of February 2020, the Center for Clinical Knowledge Management was responsible for the development and maintenance of 238 best practice advisories (BPAs), 153 delegation/practice protocols, 984 Beacon protocols, 72 guidelines, 1,298 order sets/panels, 261 patient assessment tools, 238 clinical policies, 140 therapy plans and a wide range of other clinical decision support tools that support the great care we provide to our patients throughout UW Health. As clinical evidence matures, we're responsible for maintaining those tools, serving as the curators of clinical knowledge.
When the Center for Clinical Knowledge Management was created, we addressed needs that many other academic medical centers struggle with, providing a centralized service that develops evidence-based standards of care, and supports their implementation.
While other organizations are now following our lead, we remain a unique department. Our innovation extends into many of our programs. We pioneered new biomedical technologies through the Technology Assessment Program. Our oncology protocol builders were among the first in the country to implement the Epic Beacon system.
Clinical Policy Program
The Clinical Policy Program was established to provide a process for the development, approval, implementation, and routine multidisciplinary review of clinical policies. The program is intended to create consistent standards of care across all UW Health entities with the goals of improving quality and reducing cost in an evidence-based fashion.
UW Health Clinical Policy Committee
The UW Health Clinical Policy Committee provides oversight for UW Health clinical policies to promote consistent consolidated clinical policies that will guide care across the entities of the UW Health system: University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Co-chairs: Brian Arndt, MD, and Jonathan Fliegel, MD
Representation for UW Health and UW School of Medicine and Public Health legal services
Risk Management Director (or designee)
Representation from various specialties (clinical laboratory, infection control, nutrition, pharmacy, radiology, respiratory therapy)
Medical staff members from the 17 departments of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health
Adult and pediatric nursing representation from ambulatory and inpatient settings
Advanced Practice Provider representation
Surgical services representation
UW Health at The American Center representation
House staff representation
Senior management representation (Senior Vice President Patient Care Service and Chief Nursing Officer designee, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer designee, Chief Ambulatory Administrative Officer designee)
Director of Quality, Safety and Innovation
Director of the Center for Clinical Knowledge Management
Information services representation
Graduate Medical Education representation
Ad hoc compliance representation
Clinical policy approval process
All UW Health clinical policies must be approved by the UW Health Clinical Policy Committee. Clinical policies that contain content that affects physician practice must be approved by the Medical Board. Clinical policies approved by the UW Health Clinical Policy Committee (and Medical Board, if necessary) will proceed for final approval by the UW Health Chief Medical Officer.
Clinical practice guidelines
All clinical practice guidelines are managed by one of three departments which regularly reviews the content to ensure up-to-date evidence is used:
The Center for Clinical Knowledge Management (CCKM) is responsible for interdisciplinary guidelines which include various types of interventions (e.g., pharmacological and non-pharmacological recommendations). These guidelines often describe care for an entire population and/or cross care settings and clinical disciplines. The Clinical Knowledge Management Council reviews and approves all interdisciplinary guidelines.
The Drug Policy Program, on behalf of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, coordinates the development and maintenance of medication-related guidelines and guideline content.
The Nursing Practice Guideline Committee, a subcommittee of the Nursing Practice Council, aims to improve nursing practice and patient outcomes by clearly identifying and implementing evidence-based nursing interventions for defined patient problems or populations.
Clinical Knowledge Management Council
The activities of the Center for Clinical Knowledge Management (CCKM) are guided by the Clinical Knowledge Management Council.
This advisory group oversees prioritization of CCKM activities, advises the CCKM leadership and staff on activities of the Center, and has endorsement and approval authority as defined in its charter (pdf).
Dave Kunstman, MD, UW Health Interim Chief Medical Information Officer
CKM Council co-chairs
Jennifer Lochner, MD
Scott Wilson, MD
CKM Council Coordinator
Chad Warner, Director, Center for Clinical Knowledge Management
We have clinicians and non-clinicians working in the Center for Clinical Knowledge Management. Our staff includes pharmacists, psychologists, nurses, a nurse practitioner, a physical therapist and a neuroscientist. Among our non-clinician staff, we have experts with backgrounds in engineering, biostatistics, library science and business. View our CCKM organizational chart (pdf) to see how it all fits together.