About E-P-A

The European Pathway Association is an international not for profit organisation (ivzw) under Belgian Law of Clinical Pathway/ Care Pathway networks, user groups, academic institutions, supporting organisations and individuals who want to support the development, implementation and evaluation of clinical / care pathways. The association has an international network of more than 1100 pathway facilitators, researchers and managers from more than 50 countries.

The purpose of the association is:


To conduct international research into the quality and efficiency of organizing healthcare and methods for the coordination of primary healthcare and care pathways (aka clinical pathways, integrated care pathways (ICPs) or critical pathways).


To provide training and education on care pathway development, implementation and evaluation for individual health care professionals, health care organizations researchers, managers, stakeholders.


To set up an international network and foster cooperation between healthcare researchers, managers and healthcare providers from European countries and the wider international community.

If you want up-to-date information on the healthcare management concept of care pathways, you can join our association for free. Members receive updates and international networking information and reduction at pathway conferences.

E-P-A bureau

The E-P-A bureau is the daily management team of the association. Our office is based in Leuven, Belgium. The bureau consists of the following people:

Massimiliano Panella
Kris Vanhaecht
Secretary General
Walter Sermeus
Ruben van Zelm
Ellen Coeckelberghs
Office Manager


Prof. Massimiliano Panella, MD, PhD – Department of Translational Medicine, University of Eastern Piemonte (UPO), Novara, Italy

Prof. Kris Vanhaecht, PhD – Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy, KU Leuven; Academic Policy Advisor, Department of Quality, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Prof. Walter Sermeus, PhD – Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy, KU Leuven, Belgium

Ruben van Zelm, PhD – University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands; Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy, KU Leuven, Belgium

Ellen Coeckelberghs, PhD – Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy, KU Leuven, Belgium

What E-P-A can offer

E-P-A’s experienced teaching, research and development staff, can help organisations (healthcare organisations or trusts, suppliers such as device manufacturers, pharma companies, healthcare authorities, etcetera) on several topics:

  • support in developing model pathways
  • evaluation of current care pathways and processes
  • advising in policy making related to care pathways
  • in company training on development, implementation and evaluation of care pathways
  • modelling of care processes when introducing new therapy, new device


The idea for a European Pathway Association was suggested by Kris Vanhaecht, Catholic University Leuven, Belgium and Massimiliano Panella, Piedmonte University, Italy, during the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQUA) 2003 conference in Dallas.

The European Pathway Association (E-P-A.org) was launched on September 16 & 17, 2004, in Jesi, near Ancona (Italy). The first Workshop on the European Focus on Clinical Pathways was organized by the Agenzia Regionale Sanitaria di Regione Marche under the supervision of Prof. Francesco Di Stanislao, director Agenzia Regionale Sanitaria and Prof. Massimiliano Panella. In 2008 the E-P-A became an official not for profit association.

Inaugural meeting E-P-A, Jesi, Italy, 2004

Since 2004 the E-P-A has been involved in:

  • The European Quality of Care Pathway Study on pathways for COPD and Hip Fracture (conducted in Belgium, Portugal, Italy and Ireland)
  • The CP4ACS study on care pathway for ST-elevated MI (conducted in Belgium)
  • The CP4NutriGICAN project on gastro intestinal cancer pathways (conducted in Belgium, Holland, Germany & France)
  • The international survey on care pathways in 23 countries in 2005 and an update in 2012
  • A narrative review on the target population and methods used in care pathway projects in 2021
  • The E-P-A summer school 2007, 2008, 2010, 2017 and 2018 (Italy) with delegates from over 20 different countries
  • The E-P-A summer workshop in 2011 (Norway) and 2014 (Leuven)
  • The healthcare events & E-P-A international conference in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2017 en 2018
  • Care pathway conferences in London (UK), Ancona and Reggio Emilia (Italy), Dublin (Ireland), Haugasund (Norway), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Ljubliana (Slovenia), Leuven (Belgium), Barcelona (Spain), Glasgow (Scotland), Linz (Austria)
  • Six PhD projects at Leuven University and Piemonte University
  • Policy advise in Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Norway, Mongolia, Egypt, The Netherlands, Scotland, England, Ireland and Austria
  • and much more.