Expanding epilepsy monitoring in Arizona

Treating patients with epilepsy requires careful characterization of seizure activity. All three Mayo Clinic campuses have an inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit where patients have continuous electroencephalography (EEG), measurement of oxygenation and cardiac status, and audiovisual recording of their activities.

In Arizona, Mayo is extending its epilepsy expertise across the state. Since 2011, Mayo Clinic specialists have collaborated with officials from Banner Health to create an epilepsy monitoring unit at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in downtown Phoenix. The six-bed unit is staffed by Mayo neurologists with technicians and support teams from Banner Good Samaritan. Patients evaluated at the unit may receive treatment from Banner or be transferred to Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Banner Good Samaritan draws patients from the Banner network throughout Arizona.

"This collaboration allows us to bring Mayo Clinic quality and safety of care to a large population of the state of Arizona," says Joseph I. Sirven, M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. "This unit, which is Mayo branded but located within a Banner hospital, allows access to Mayo Clinic for patients who otherwise would not have it."

The unique clinical cooperation was launched in 2011. Neurologists from Mayo and Banner were already collaborating on research on dementia and Parkinson's disease. At the time, Banner Good Samaritan lacked an epilepsy monitoring unit.

"Banner physicians wanted very much to have epilepsy monitoring capability to care for their large network of patients," Dr. Sirven says. "So they approached us with the idea of creating a Mayo epilepsy monitoring unit in their hospital."

As at other Mayo Clinic epilepsy monitoring units, an important component of care at Banner Good Samaritan is multidisciplinary case conferences. Those meetings bring together neurologists, medical technicians, nurses and psychologists to assess the safety and quality of the testing and treatment plan for each patient. A satellite connection allows epilepsy specialists at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix to participate in discussions with their Mayo colleagues at the Banner Good Samaritan unit.

According to a study published in the June 2009 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, EEG monitoring is a safe and valuable tool for epilepsy classification, diagnosis of recurrent spells and evaluations for surgery in patients with intractable partial epilepsy. "At Mayo Clinic, we are committed to bringing the best safety and quality to care for patients with epilepsy," Dr. Sirven says. "Being part of the Banner Good Samaritan system extends Mayo's interactions with patients to a very large swathe of Arizona and allows us to set the tone for safety and quality of care for the state."

For more information

Noe KH, et al. Safety of long-term video-encephalographic monitoring for evaluation of epilepsy. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2009;84:495.