Family-Educator Partnership in the Development of Entrustable Professional Activities in Complex Care

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges








PROBLEM: Incorporating patient and family voices in the development of entrustable professional activities (EPAs) is not standard practice. Care of children with medical complexity (CMC) is an area of pediatrics that relies on family partnership, and families of CMC are ideal partners in EPA development given their expertise in their child's care and experience interacting with the health care system. The authors describe their model for partnering with families to develop EPAs and reflect on the unique contributions of family leaders to the process. APPROACH: After recruitment of family leaders from a national organization of families and friends of children with special health care needs, the authors used a multistage process for EPA development from June 2019 to February 2021. Family leaders were integrated throughout the process, including creating EPA descriptions, revising content across all EPAs, appraising EPAs through virtual focus groups with other key stakeholders, and finalizing and publishing EPAs. The authors used content analysis to identify recommendations for patient- and family-integrated EPA development. OUTCOMES: Family leaders and educators partnered in every phase of developing EPAs for the care of CMC, including as content experts, editors, focus group facilitators, and coauthors. Family leaders recommended substantive changes to all EPAs, including revising language, augmenting content, and modifying scope of practice. In addition, content analysis of family leaders' revisions yielded 10 recommendations to ensure that written EPA descriptions are patient- and family-centered. NEXT STEPS: The described process of EPA development for the care of CMC models how families can be integrated into competency framework development and highlights their contributions. Family leader recommendations for embedding patient and family voices in EPA descriptions can serve as a guide for EPA development in other specialties.