An entrustable professional activity (epa) for handoffs as a model for epa assessment development

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59 Scopus citations


Medical education is moving toward assessment of educational outcomes rather than educational processes. The American Board of Internal Medicine and American Board of Pediatrics milestones and the concept of entrustable professional activities (EPA)-skills essential to the practice of medicine that educators progressively entrust learners to perform-provide new approaches to assessing outcomes. Although some defined EPAs exist for internal medicine and pediatrics, the continued development and implementation of EPAs remains challenging. As residency programs are expected to begin reporting milestone-based performance, however, they will need examples of how to overcome these challenges. The authors describe a model for the development and implementation of an EPA using the resident handoff as an example. The model includes nine steps: selecting the EPA, determining where skills are practiced and assessed, addressing barriers to assessment, determining components of the EPA, determining needed assessment tools, developing new assessments if needed, determining criteria for advancement through entrustment levels, mapping milestones to the EPA, and faculty development. Following implementation, 78% of interns at the University of Minnesota Medical School were observed giving handoffs and provided feedback. The authors suggest that this model of EPA development-which includes engaging stakeholders, an iterative process to describing the behavioral characteristics of each domain at each level of entrustment, and the development of specific assessment tools that support both formative feedback and summative decisions about entrustment-can serve as a model for EPA development for other clinical skills and specialty areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1335-1340
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2014


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