Electronic communities of practice: guidelines from a project

J Contin Educ Health Prof. Spring 2010;30(2):139-43. doi: 10.1002/chp.20071.


The timely incorporation of health research into the routine practice of individual health practitioners and interprofessional teams is a widely recognized and ongoing challenge. Health professional engagement and learning is an important cog in the wheel of knowledge translation; passive dissemination of evidence through journals and clinical practice guidelines is inadequate when used alone as an intervention to change the practices of the health professionals.An evolving body of research suggests that communities of practice can be effective in facilitating the uptake of best practices by individual health professionals and teams. Modern information technologies can extend the boundaries and reach of these communities, forming electronic communities of practice (eCoP) that can be used to promote intra- and interprofessional continuing professional development (CPD) and team-based, patient-centered care. However, examples of eCoPs and examination of their characteristics are lacking in the literature. In this paper, we discuss guidelines for developing eCoP. These guidelines will be helpful for others considering the use of the eCoP model in interprofessional learning and practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / organization & administration*
  • Staff Development