Developing a Model of Community of Practice Among Health Informatics Professionals in South and Southeast Asia
There is still debate on whether communities of practice (COP) can be formed or created. Many have claimed that they provide a venue to share knowledge which translates to action. In South and Southeast Asia, international development partners have invested in many capacity building initiatives to set-up and/or improve eHealth implementations in countries. While interest and resources for this increase, many challenges are still left unresolved due to repeated mistakes and undocumented experiences. The Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN) is a community of health informatics professionals organised to share knowledge and improve the use of ICT in health systems strengthening. Objectives: This study examined how AeHIN emerged as a knowledge sharing platform, identified best practices it adopted, and developed a model that could sustain itself as a COP. Methods: A sociometric survey was used to map knowledge sharing connections of pioneer members with interviews to substantiate findings and a 20-hour participant observation to triangulate data. UCINET 6.0 was used to analyse social network data while qualitative data were coded. Results: Defining roles of health informatics professionals inside the COP influences the type of information, resources, and capacities that can enter a network. The nature of its subgroups determines potentials and barriers to the network. Twelve best practices were identified to sustain a health informatics COP. It is recommended that a learning network is an appropriate model for this type of COP and an understanding of country-specific political structure is important to support participation. Conclusion: AeHIN is a COP model whose activities have a life of their own. While some prove successful, others die down or are discontinued. This unique design proved to be fitting for a group of health informatics professionals as it accommodates success and failures crucial for project implementations.
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Copyright (c) 2017 Aliyah Lou Arriola Evangelista, Jaranit Kaewkungwal, Boonchai Kijsanayotin, Ngamphol Soonthornworasiri
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