Telehealth Appointments for Epilepsy | OSF Illinois Neurological Institute

Telehealth has plenty of advantages. Basically the advantage is it serves areas
that wouldn’t be served otherwise. So, it allows us to see patients in places
that we wouldn’t have been able to see them previously and it allows you to see someone
like me when you wouldn’t have been able to see me unless you traveled two hours or three
hours. In epilepsy, the history is what’s important. Because not all seizures are created equally
and not all things that appear to be seizure are seizure. Based on description, we can decide if these
are epileptic seizures or not. And so that’s how we approach the telehealth. It’s the same thing. 70 percent of you, the patient, speaking to
me and me listening. And then, the rest of it is just explaining
what you need explained and telling you what’s going to happen and then deciding together
on a treatment plan. In Ottawa, the nurse is already there so you
go to the office that’s in Ottawa and the nurse checks you in and she helps me do the
exam. It’s the same nurse every week so we have
continuity of care so she knows what I like, knows what I like to do, knows how to do the
exam, all those things. Trained by me and other neurologists. And then in Mendota, it’s our nurses that
work with me daily here in Rockford that travel to Mendota to see the patients as well. You’ll meet the staff at the front desk. They’ll check you in. Then the nurse will take you in the back. She’ll vital you, do all the things that they
would have done in person. Then the nurse teleconferences me alone. We talk about you for a bit, talk about what’s
going on, what your story is and then I log into the computer while the nurse is in the
room. So, you’re talking to me on a screen. I’m seeing you on my screen. We do the interview the same we would do in
person and then when it’s time to examine you, the nurse examines you as I’m watching
and as I’m directing the nurse if I need them to be directed. And then I give you the plan. I sit with you. I explain to you what the plan of your care
is, exactly what we’re going to do and then you don’t leave until you’re one hundred percent
clear on what you have, the reason you’re having it, what we’re going to do to prevent
this from happening and any other questions you may have. Our reviews are very good. Our patients really enjoy it. They prefer to not have to travel and they’re
always apprehensive at the beginning, but the answer is always the same: it’s much better
than I expected or much better than I thought it would be. So, my advice would be if you don’t want to
travel, you try it and you see if you don’t like it, you can always come to Rockford and
see me or you can go anywhere else, but the worst thing you can do is not see anyone. Some patients I’m seeing now have been having
seizures for years and haven’t been treated. And those cumulative effects of those seizures
can kind of take its toll on you when it comes to mood, when it comes to memory, when it
comes to personality. The sooner we get your seizures under control,
the better it is for your future.

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