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ECoE Current Initiatives and Policies
- Categorized in: 2013 Compendium of Federal Medicine
An Institutes of Medicine (IoM) epilepsy report recommended validation and implementation of standardized processes for thorough analysis of the healthcare delivery for epilepsy.14 The importance of standardization is stated in PL 110-387 objectives for ECoEs. This includes establishment of consolidated patient accounting centers. To accomplish this task, standardized processes are imperative for accurate workload capture. Workload accuracy is critical for case ascertainment, utilization, cost and quality-of-life measurements in epilepsy.
Registry: The clinical care template is the largest project toward successful standardization of healthcare delivery throughout the VA ECoEs. Completion of the template will standardize the epilepsy care delivery, create an electronic note (eliminating freelance note), and data will be available for surveillance of patients and research. The template is aligned with both American Academy of Neurology recommended measures and National Institute of Health common data elements for epilepsy and TBI.15, 16 Implementation will allow consistent processes and collection of pertinent data. The template is expected to be adopted nationally.
Outreach and Access via Technology
Outreach and Access via technology The ECoE has established partnerships with DOD and Epilepsy Foundations in efforts to reach Veterans. The ECoE Advisory Committees provide valuable feedback for enhancing and improving the program. National education classes are offered to providers and patients via conference calls, and recorded versions are accessible on the ECoE website.17 Additionally, multiple technology projects positively impact the ECoE outlook. Telehealth leverages technology for remote services while sustaining quality, increasing access and reducing cost.
Tele-epilepsy: VA is a leader in the expansion of telehealth to specialty services.18 Tele-epilepsy clinics are operational in multiple ECoE sites nationally, with more clinics on the horizon. The response from patients and providers has been very positive. The most noteworthy factor is the reduced need for epilepsy patients to travel long distances for healthcare, decreasing challenges often encountered with obtaining transportation. Furthermore, many ECoE sites have established telephone clinics as a part of tele-epilepsy.
Consortium: In order to enhance the sharing of specialty knowledge and services among providers, the national ECoE has speared-headed the initiative of creating a consortium using the hub-and-spokes model, which is expected to decrease gaps in access points for veterans seeking epilepsy specialized care. The ECoE consortium goal is to have representation from each state that will allow for sharing of resources to accomplish the mission.
VA Specialty Care Access Networks Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (Scan-ECHO): Scan-ECHO is an electronic consultation process between providers. The hub-and-spokes infrastructure of this technology-enhanced consultation system has the potential for sharing ECoE epileptologists’ knowledge nationally. Scan- ECHO will complement the consortium for practical application. Additionally, in lieu of funding, the Southeast Region established a monthly consultation call among regional ECoE epileptologists and is expanding to include non-ECoE epileptologists.
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