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Illinois Epilepsy-Mental Health Outreach Initiative 2011-

The clinical presence objective of our initiative is to implement transformational outreach epilepsy care regionally in Illinois, utilizing novel 'communication-connectivity strategies' managed by a community-based coordination hub.

A primary goal is to expand the foundation of our CARF-accredited Rural Population Health Initiative by developing and implementing a novel patient-centered delivery model for chronic epilepsy care and co-occurring healthcare challenges in Northeastern Illinois. An independent community-based coordination hub (Epilepsy Foundation of North Central Illinois) has been established to facilitate access to community resources, mobile health-linked subspecialty expertise and 'on-demand' web-based education. Such a novel community-based healthcare management mechanism accommodates a markedly increased patient throughput transitioning from, or never eligible for, the Affordable Care Act. Moreover, this initiative aims to reduce hospital admissions, while improving the co-morbidity patterns and healthcare use-behavior of the majority of individuals living with chronic epilepsy in these rural communities. It is important to emphasize that a significant number of these individuals are underserved and diagnosed with co-occurring mental health conditions.

The clinical implementation of this strategy hinges on the scalability of an inter-community networking strategy. Such a strategy coordinates near real-time matching of community psychosocial services, and specialized medical needs of both children (Rossi, 2014), and adults residing in rural Northeastern Illinois counties. mHealth information technology bridges our patient-centered PHM presence with Rush University Medical Center (RUMC), an urban-based tertiary care medical center located about 70-80 miles away from these underserved communities. The McHenry County Coordination Hub manages the coordination of video-based telehealth, community-based providers and resources that include local hospital emergency departments not affiliated with RUMC.

The methodology specifically combines the following 5 innovative components:

(1) a HIPAA-compliant portable video-conferencing communication protocol and technology for bridging on-demand access of patients in ambulatory and rural emergency department settings with urban-based specialists at RUMC, along with community-based healthcare providers and psychosocial agencies,

(2) a novel HIPAA-compliant web-based networking technology and relational database for connecting patients in real-time with all available community-based resources,

(3) ambulatory biosensor monitoring & data streaming using ultra-portable EEG telemetry, and total body motion sensors for continuously assessing identified patients for falls and clinical seizures,

(4) a personalized interactive 3D-animation website based on a computer-intensive gaming platform that targets epilepsy and mental health education. This platform also accommodates a closed virtual classroom for live dynamic educational sessions,

(5) and, finally, an independent community-based regional Population Health Coordination Hub (Epilepsy Foundation) facilitating and coordinating the above innovative components.

This technology-intensive rural outreach delivery model overcomes barriers preventing such coordinated geographically remote care from being implemented. It significantly expands the geographic reach of a distant tertiary care medical center to an underserved region. Preliminary data suggest that an independent community-based coordination hub can efficiently maximize patient access to community resources, medical and mental health expertise, and customized patient education.

Pertinent References

1. Rossi MA (2014). Improving patient-centered care coordination for children with epilepsy: Version 2.0 upgrade required. Epilepsy Curr 14(3):145-146.


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Visit RUSH Visit the Epilepsy Foundation Visit Danny Did Visit The Mary Caitlin D. Keane Website Visit Neurologica Visit Simpleware Visit the American Epilepsy Society
Visit Options and Advocacy of McHenry County Visit JanssenR&D/J&J Pharma R&D Visit The Mental Health Board Visit Vidyo Visit Cyberonics Visit Lundbeck Inc