Development and inclusion of an entrustable professional activity (EPA) scale in a simulation-based medicine dispensing assessment

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, 2020, 12, (2), pp. 203-212
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© 2019 Elsevier Inc. Background and purpose: Effective, safe, and patient-centred dispensing is a core task of community pharmacists. Entrustable professional activities (EPAs) offer a way of defining and assessing these daily practice activities. Although EPAs have become popular within competency-based medical education programs, their use is new to pharmacy education and assessment. Educational activity and setting: A simulation-based assessment framework containing a scale of entrustment was developed to evaluate the readiness of Year 4 undergraduate pharmacy students to safely manage the supply of prescribed medicine(s) in a community pharmacy. The assessment framework was piloted in a fourth year “Transition to Practice” course with 28 simulation-based assessments conducted. Findings: An entrustment framework was developed and implemented successfully with Year 4 undergraduate pharmacy students. The EPA for medicine dispensing integrates competency domains that include information gathering, providing patient-centred care, clinical reasoning, medicine dispensing, and professional communications. On a scale ranging from level 1 to level 5, the majority (73%) of entrustment ratings were level 2 or level 3; and of the students who achieved different ratings between clinical scenarios, 75% of students improved on their second simulation attempt. There was a strong correlation between the global EPA ratings with the total score achieved across the domains. Using simulation-based assessment, entrustment decision making can be incorporated in “entry to profession” undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacy courses to assess students' readiness to transition between learning and professional practice.
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