Communities of practice: creating opportunities to enhance quality of care and safe practices

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Communities of practice: creating opportunities to enhance quality of care and safe practices

A Communities of Practice (CoPs) approach was used to enhance interprofessional practice in seven clinical sites across Alberta. Participating staff were free to decide the area of practice to focus on and the actions to be implemented. All practice changes implemented by the CoPs related to either improving communications (e.g., introduction of joint care meetings) or information transfer (e.g., streamlining of admission and discharge processes). The practice changes contributed to more effective communication of information and more effective transitions of patients between providers, hence potentially reducing errors. The present study demonstrates that CoPs can enhance interprofessional communication and patient safety in traditional care delivery units. In contrast to more structured safety initiatives, sites were able to choose their area of focus. This ensures buy-in and enhances sustainability, making CoPs an interesting option for patient safety initiatives

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