Seeding Structures for a Community of Practice Focused on Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): Implementing Across Disciplines and Waves

Lauren S. Penney, Barbara J. Homoya, Teresa M. Damush, Nicholas A. Rattray, Edward J. Miech, Laura J. Myers, Sean Baird, Ariel Cheatham, Dawn M. Bravata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The Community of Practice (CoP) model represents one approach to address knowledge management to support effective implementation of best practices. Objective: We sought to identify CoP developmental strategies within the context of a national quality improvement project focused on improving the quality for patients receiving acute transient ischemic attack (TIA) care. Design: Stepped wedge trial. Participants: Multidisciplinary staff at six Veterans Affairs medical facilities. Interventions: To encourage site implementation of a multi-component quality improvement intervention, the trial included strategies to improve the development of a CoP: site kickoff meetings, CoP conference calls, and an interactive website (the “Hub”). Approach: Mixed-methods evaluation included data collected through a CoP attendance log; semi-structured interviews with site participants at 6 months (n = 32) and 12 months (n = 30), and CoP call facilitators (n = 2); and 22 CoP call debriefings. Key Results: The critical seeding structures that supported the cultivation of the CoP were the kickoffs which fostered relationships (key to the community element of CoPs) and provided the evidence base relevant to TIA care (key to the domain element of CoPs). The Hub provided the forum for sharing quality improvement plans and other tools which were further highlighted during the CoP calls (key to the practice element of CoPs). CoP calls were curated to create a positive context around participants’ work by recognizing team successes. In addition to improving care at their local facilities, the community created a shared set of tools which built on their collective knowledge and could be shared within and outside the group. Conclusions: The PREVENT CoP advanced the mission of the learning healthcare system by successfully providing a forum for shared learning. The CoP was grown through seeding structures that included kickoffs, CoP calls, and the Hub. A CoP expands upon the learning collaborative implementation strategy as an effective implementation practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-321
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Veterans Health Administration
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • community of practice
  • implementation science
  • learning healthcare system
  • situated learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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