Facing new infectious diseases that are result of continuous mutation of virus and bacteria and ever advancing communication and medical technologies, infection control professionals (ICPs) in the healthcare industry must be able to obtain instantly the needed knowledge in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness in their practice. The purpose of this study is, after an exhaustive literature review and necessary interviews with specialists in this field, to propose a research framework that explores the factors that affect the ICPs' willingness to adopt knowledge management (KM) into their tasks and to validate the usefulness of this research framework through a survey study. The research framework includes four constructs that affect infection control professionals' decision and willingness to introduce and to adopt infection control KM, and they are namely: hospital characteristics, infection control department, external environment, and project planning. The study conducted a survey among ICPs from 425 hospitals in Taiwan. A total of 227 valid questionnaire responses were returned from the ICPs from 90 hospitals. Among these responses, 55.00% are from medical centers and 47.83% are from regional hospitals. After analyzing the responses through the discriminant analysis method, the study found that "Hospital Resource Support," "Colleagues' Attitude," and "Users' Participation" are the three factors that significantly impact the professionals' willingness for adopting KM in infection control departments. This study not only provides the healthcare industry an understanding about introduction and impact of KM, which can assist in their decision making, but also emphasizes the importance of use of actual data in the study of research framework for introduction of KM in healthcare industry. Therefore, this study presents important results in both practical and academic aspects. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.