BC Patient Safety & Quality Council

June 18, 2013 | Print This Article Twitter Facebook Email

Building a Critical Care Community of Practice

Critical Care - Logo - March 25, 2013

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stickiesBuilding a Critical Care Community of Practice
At the second annual BC Critical Care Quality Day, an interdisciplinary group of clinicians participated in defining the need and vision for their own professional, and critical care Community of Practice (CoP). View the day’s agenda (pdf), and read a recap of the event.

What is a Community of Practice (CoP)?
Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.

What Do Different Professions Value in CoPs?
Grouped together by profession, participants at the BC Critical Care Quality Day discussed how a Critical Care Community of Practice might add value to their work.


want increased knowledge transfer. They value support – sink or swim together  – and validation – share knowledge.

Unit Managers

want to creatively gather and share ideas, provide moral support and celebrate successes, and increase awareness to improve patient care and outcomes. They value brainstorming, networking and increased awareness.

Nurse Educators

want a source of innovation, where people share their ideas and plan for the future. They value working as a team of educators and clinical staff to support, coordinate, and integrate.


want to share best practices, while increasing integration across disciplines, sites and regions. They value transforming care and sharing best practice to break down barriers and improve peer-to-peer collaboration.


want a one stop shop for information which links with other provincial forums to put it all together. They value developing a coordinated provincial network to decrease duplication and improve outcomes.


want an up-to-date forum filled with tips, tricks and support. They want accurate information based on better evidence to refine processes. They value a current resource that provides timely support and helps refine processes

Patient Care Coordinators

want information for frontline staff to support implementation of new ideas. They value information to help implement new ideas and support the staff.

Allied Health Participants

want to be recognized as part of the team, learn new approaches and spread innovation. They value inclusion, communication as well as sharing innovation and resources across health authorities.

Government (MoH, BCPSQC)

want to spread innovation and accelerate quality improvement. They value spark, support and collaboration with an interdisciplinary network of critical care providers.

CoP for Critical Care
After identifying how a CoP might benefit each profession, the participants came together and agreed on the top three priorities for building the community:

1. An Online CoP/Web community
Sharing experiences, research, and resources; problem solving; a forum for front line staff to support and guide one another; collaborating on standardization of care provincially; and access to up to date, evidence based guidelines were highlighted as important objectives of the CoP. A website was identified as the best option for accessing and streamlining these priorities.

The BCPSQC will support the CC CoP in achieving this goal.

2. Structure and Organization
While the CoP was recognized as a hub for improving CC provincially, access and transparency regarding the formal leadership was highlighted. The BC Critical Care Working Group – with membership from each health authority and from the Ministry of Health – is the primary structure for improving dialogue on critical care in BC. This group meets bi-monthly and is co-chaired by Dr. Dean Chittock (VCHA) and Máire McAdams (MoH). Dr. Peter Dodek is a special clinical consultant with this group.

Participants expressed further interest in developing a provincial critical care quality structure to link critical care quality improvement councils within each health authority to the provincial Critical Care Working Group.

3. Site Champions
In addition to an overarching formal leadership, the group identified the need for local leaders and champions to head quality initiatives.

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