Isabelle Hallé; Marie-Claude Vachon
An online platform hosting educational resources and practice-sharing tools was developed to promote the formation of a virtual community of practice and facilitate professional development for French healthcare practitioners involved in managing multiple sclerosis. The success of this initiative suggests similar platforms may be beneficial in promoting the sharing of best practices between geographically dispersed healthcare practitioners working in other highly specialized fields.
To facilitate sharing of best practices among French healthcare practitioners specializing in multiple sclerosis (MS) through the development of a virtual community of practice (VCoP) platform.
An online password-protected platform was developed to facilitate continuing medical education and sharing of best practices for French healthcare practitioners working in MS. Resources integrated into the platform include profiles of registered healthcare practitioners, a practice assessment tool, accredited educational programs, a section for members to share resources, a discussion forum, and a polling tool. The site has received HONcode certification. Each month, a different regional MS network takes responsibility for maintaining and reviewing site content. Funding for the platform was provided through unrestricted educational grants from Sanofi and Teva.
The recently launched VCoP platform has brought together neurologists, nurses, occupational therapists, kinesiologists and other allied healthcare professionals from the various regional MS networks in France. As a result, these healthcare practitioners can now share resources, tools and best practices with a broader network of professionals sharing the same interests.
Such VCoP platforms incorporating different learning modalities and promoting communication and resource sharing may be effective and efficient ways for geographically dispersed healthcare professionals working in highly specialized areas of medicine to promote best practices.
Further feedback from members of the described VCoP will help optimize the online platform and develop and broaden the array of programs and tools available through this platform. An application for e-learning credits from the European Union of Medical Specialists has been made.
Institutional Affiliation: MedPlan Communications Inc.