•  Co-management of care—Criteria and best practices for the co-management of health care must be established between epilepsy specialists, primary care providers, and specialists treating comorbid conditions, including mental health treatment providers.

•  Community outreach—Active efforts should be focused on con-necting with local primary care providers to enhance their knowledge about epilepsy and their care of people with the disorder as well as ensuring that community health programs providing health services for underserved populations are connected to epilepsy specialists.

•  Educational and community referral resource—Accredited epilepsy centers should be sites where patients and their families receive education and self-management training, screening for common comorbid conditions, and referrals for support within appropriate community agencies, including schools, day care centers, vocational rehabilitation services, and those providing housing and other independent living resources, financial assistance, and respite care.

•  Professional education—Accredited centers should train epilepsy technicians, nurses, and physicians as well as provide a training locus for emergency personnel, general neurologists, primary care providers, and other interested health professionals.

The committee is not specifying a particular system of certification or accreditation for epilepsy centers but emphasizes the need for an accreditation process that uses external evaluation. The approach could involve a tiered system of primary and comprehensive epilepsy centers, such as the system being put in place for Joint Commission-certified stroke centers or the ACS-designated trauma centers, or it could involve some other organizational structure.

Accredited epilepsy centers are envisioned as having strong links to each other and to community resources through an Epilepsy Care Network of Accredited Epilepsy Centers. This network could promote research advances through collaborative clinical and health services research. More needs to be known about the use of health services by people with epilepsy in order to identify and close gaps (Reid et al., 2012). Each center should be well integrated into the health system and locality that it is a part of as well as into the network of centers. Strong ties and partnerships with state health departments and other health care providers, particularly those focused on other neurological disorders, could expand the reach of coverage to people with epilepsy who are in rural and underserved areas through use of telemedicine, outreach clinics, and other relevant mechanisms. People with epilepsy and their families, as well as

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement