Preoperative evaluation for epilepsy surgery: Process improvement

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Background:Epilepsy surgery (ES) can improve seizure outcome. A prolonged duration of presurgical evaluation contributes to epilepsy-related morbidity and mortality. We introduced process changes to decrease evaluation time (ET) and increase ES numbers (excluding vagus nerve stimulation).Methods:The University of Colorado Hospital patient database was searched for ESs between January 2009 and May 2016. Measures to reduce ET included (1) increasing patient care conference (PCC) frequency; (2) faster intracarotid amobarbital test (IAT) scheduling; (3) dedicated ES clinic; and (4) adding a nurse navigator. ET from noninvasive video-EEG monitoring (P1) to IAT, PCC, and ES, and ES volume were determined and compared for a baseline group (P1 January 2009–March 2013) and a group exposed to process changes (P1 after March 2013), the postchanges group, to assess the effect of these measures.Results:ES number was 61 for the baseline group and 77 for the postchanges group, increasing the annual rate at 3 years after changes from 14.4 to 36.8 (p = 0.0008; 37% yearly increase postchanges). Interventions lowered average ET by 96 days (p ≤ 0.0001), P1 to IAT by 39 days (p = 0.0011), and P1 to PCC by 58 days (p = 0.0002).Conclusions:Simple process changes, including more frequent patient care conferences, faster scheduling, a dedicated ES clinic, and a nurse navigator significantly decreased evaluation times and increased ES numbers. Centers could utilize similar strategies to improve process and surgical volume and thereby increase patient seizure control and safety.

    loading  Loading Related Articles