February 11, 2022

Standardization of Seizure Response Times and Data Collection in an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

Abstract found in PubMed

Objective: We sought to improve seizure response times in the epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU), improve the accuracy and reliability of seizure response time data collection, and develop a standardized and automated approach for seizure response data collection in the EMU.

Methods: We used Quality Improvement (QI) methodology to understand the EMU workflow involved in responding to seizures (a process map); to create a theory of change that stated the desired aim, potential drivers/barriers and interventions (i.e., key driver diagram) and perform iterative interventions to address some of the drivers plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles. We performed three PDSA cycles with a focus on improving the seizure alert system in our EMU. Adjustments were made to the methodology as it became clear that this was a systems issue, and our project would need to focus on improving the system rather than iteratively improving a functioning (stable) system.

Results: Over a 6-month period, 252 seizure response times were recorded and analyzed. We performed 3 interventions. The first was initiating twice monthly meetings with nursing and EEG techs to discuss the project and provide feedback on response times. The second was the implementation of a new Hill-Rom seizure alert system to reduce alert times and automate data tracking. The third was implementing a new alert deactivation system to reduce variability in the data. Following these 3 interventions, variation, and data collection methods were improved while also maintaining improvements in seizure response times.

Significance: We identified and implemented an alert system in our epilepsy monitoring unit which led to more efficient and accurate data collection while maintaining improved response times that resulted from the first intervention. This lays the groundwork for future quality improvement initiatives and has created a framework for standardizing seizure response time recording and data collection that can be replicated at other centers with similar infrastructure, personnel and workflows.