Communities of Practice

Communities of Practice are the heart and center of Carpool Health.

A CoP is a group that shares a common expertise and/or interest in a topic and works together to share information, ideas and resources to learn together and create solutions.   A new concept from centuries of common threads, there is not one clear definition of a CoP.  Etienne Wagner, viewed as a significant scholar and expert in communities of practice provide this:


Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavor: a tribe learning to survive, a band of artists seeking new forms of expression, a group of engineers working on similar problems, a clique of pupils defining their identity in the school, a network of surgeons exploring novel techniques, a gathering of first-time managers helping each other cope. In a nutshell:


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.



A group at Carpool Health can join together here for the first time, or be an existing community that uses the resources here for free in exchange for a commitment to be regularly engaged, share trusted information and resources, and support and promote their community as well as the entire Carpool.

A CoP leader takes responsibility for ensuring their community has what they need in terms of expert guests, trusted information, timely response to questions and ideas, and input to the Carpool about technical, promotion or medical expertise needed to support the group.

Communities of Practice share:

A Domain:  And area of shared interest, concern, passion and/or expertise that unites them

A Community:  Interaction with support for one another for learning through engagement and sharing information.

A Practice:   Sharing of  resources: experiences, stories, tools and solutions.

There are many patient communities online, book clubs that are created around authors and themes, working groups in medical schools, associations and government.  Why we use the term CoP versus just community is that we are joined together with mutual support for sharing information, support, growth, learning, value of the personal story, and to find solutions….Again, healthcare will only be solved by all of us joining together to take a part.

Carpool Health CoP’s may be primarily groups of patients connecting at times with physicians, nurses in the same field, a working group in a local area using the web for sharing information and growth, or as we develop around books, authors and stories that need more than a one-time publication to really learn from the experience.

CoP members are responsible for self regulating the group and are able to self select if they feel their leader is not being responsive to the group’s needs.

For more about Communities of Practice in general:

  • CPSqare is an online CoP for communities of practice