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

Louise Shaw, Dana Jazayeri, Debra Kiegaldie, Meg E. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7994
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • allied health
  • digital technology
  • education
  • evidence-based practice
  • health professional
  • health services
  • implementation
  • nursing
  • quality
  • safety

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