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Table 3 Proposed health VCoP framework

From: General practice training and virtual communities of practice - a review of the literature

Probst’s business CoP framework Proposed health VCoP framework
Leadership Facilitation
The organisation can designate leadership roles to motivate community members to collaborate Facilitators promote engagement and maintain community standards
Sponsorship Champion and Support
Senior executives need to provide sponsorship to help communities reach their full potential The network needs to have an initial stakeholder champion, with stakeholder support
Objectives and Goals Objectives and Goals
Clear objectives provide members with responsibilities and motivates them to contribute more actively Clear objectives provide members with responsibilities and motivates them to contribute more actively
Boundary Spanning A Broad Church
Boundary spanning enables members to engage in internal and external benchmarking practices Consider involving different, overlapping but not competing, professional groups, different organisations and external experts. However make sure the church is not too broad....
Risk-free environment Supportive environment
COPs should be used as an especially valuable opportunity to express and test ideas in an informal and risk-free environment, thus requiring a strong degree of safety and ntimacy between members Health VCOPs should promote a supportive and positive culture that is both safe for members, and encouraging of participation
Measurements Measurement, Benchmarking and Feedback
Empirical evidence suggests the use of measurements to assess the value of communities of practice Health VCoPs should consider measurement as a factor in their design, including benchmarking and feedback
  Technology and Community
Online CoPs should ensure ease of use and access, along with asynchronous communication. Other options including chat and meetings can also be considered, along with the need for training.
Communities are more likely to share knowledge when there is a mixture of online and face-to-face meetings, members self select, and both passive and active users are encouraged.