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Implementation of Virtual Communities of Practice in Healthcare to Improve Capability and Capacity: A 10-Year Scoping Review

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-07-27, 06:49 authored by Louise ShawLouise Shaw, Dana JazayeriDana Jazayeri, Debra Kiegaldie, Meg MorrisMeg Morris
Virtual communities of practice consist of individuals who use a common online platform to share professional expertise and experiences. In healthcare settings a virtual community of practice (VCoP) can optimise knowledge, skills, and the implementation of evidence-based practice. To ensure effective knowledge synthesis and translation into practice, it is essential to clarify the best methods for designing and implementing VCoPs within healthcare organisations. This scoping review aimed to identify the methods used to establish and facilitate online or digitally enabled communities of practice within healthcare organisations across the globe. Six online databases identified papers published from January 2010 to October 2020. Papers were independently screened by two reviewers using Covidence. Data were captured and analysed using a data extraction chart in Covidence. Twenty-four publications that detail methods for establishing a VCoP in healthcare were included. Few studies used a framework to establish a VCoP. It was difficult to identify details regarding methods of development and key elements such as roles, how they were coordinated, and types of technology used. Healthcare organisations can benefit from using a standardised framework for the establishment, implementation and evaluation of VCoPs to improve practice, staff engagement, and knowledge sharing.


This research was funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant, grant number Morris et al., GNT1152853.


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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health





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Frontiers Media S.A.



Rights Statement

Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.