Exploring Patient Involvement in Continuing Professional Education

If healthcare systems are serious about placing people and patients at the centre of healthcare, it should look at the training of its healthcare professionals. This was one of the areas identified as a priority in EPF’s Patient Empowerment Campaign in 2015, and we have since explored the topic further with several organisations representing health professionals. The theme was also addressed at the 2019 EPF Congress on Meaningful Patient Involvement, where a plenary session focused on “Patients as teachers – what can patients teach professionals?”.

Last year, EPF was invited by the Biomedical Alliance in Europe (BioMed Alliance), representing medical societies across the EU, to join its permanent Expert Committee on Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to contribute a patient perspective. This is very timely in view of the latest State of Health in the EU companion report (2019), which recognises the need for involvement of patient organisations in developing new skills for healthcare professionals.

This year, EPF and BioMed Alliance have agreed to initiate specific activities to explore patient involvement in medical professionals’ continuing professional education. We hope to generate insight and learnings from experiences on both sides, gain an overview of the current landscape of patient involvement, and help Committee members identify needs and opportunities for future actions.

Both the EPF Board and the BioMed Alliance Committee have agreed the following activities for 2020::

  1. A survey of patient organisations on their involvement in CPD/CME
  2. A parallel survey of medical societies on patient involvement in their CPD/CME activities
  3. A meeting in the second half of 2020 to bring together both associations’ members – patients’ and medical societies’ representatives – to discuss the survey results and possible follow-up actions.

Next steps:

EPF will design a survey with BioMed Alliance and circulate it to patient organisations in our membership. We expect this to happen before the summer.

For more information please contact Kaisa Immonen, EPF Director of Policy at policy@eu-patient.eu