Something Wiki This Way Comes (A Wiki Primer for Organizations)

Author: Tawnya Breaux, RHIA

Primary Advisor: Kim Dunn, MD, PhD (co-author)

Committee Members: Jiajie Zhang, PhD (co-author)

Masters thesis, The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston.


A wiki is a set of web pages that are editable by anyone with internet access and proper access privileges. Wikis were developed by Ward Cunningham, an innovative programmer who desired not only a repository for his software development patterns, but an interactive storehouse, where others could view his designs, and collaborate with each other in sharing ideas and designs. Cunningham’s vision was to create a tool that was easy to use, and would inspire a spirit of participation among the user community. It is designed for growing a base of knowledge with properties of being durable, flexible, searchable, editable, affordable, but most of all collaborative. Wikis fall into several categories depending on the individual wiki’s main purpose; content-focused, process-focused, community, and ease-of-use. Wikis are becoming more predominant in the workplace due to their affordability and the fact that they are web-based. Content in a wiki can be edited without any delay, without having to involve the Information Technology Department, and without any need for redistribution. Users simply visit the site and update the information, saving the organization money by saving time.