Emily Klatte, MD
Ohio Health Neurological Physicians
Emily Klatte, MD, is a board certified adult neurologist with additional fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy. She is the OhioHealth System Medical Chief for epilepsy, and is passionate about working to improve the lives of patients with epilepsy. She understands that epilepsy impact many aspects of her patients and families lives and incorporates these issues into a comprehensive treatment plan.
Dr. Klatte’s special interests include the medical management of seizures and epilepsy, epilepsy surgical evaluations, epilepsy device therapy, nonepileptic spells, women’s issues in patients with epilepsy, as well as EEG monitoring in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit and critical care settings.
Dr. Klatte received her medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She completed her internship in preliminary medicine at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital. She also completed her residency in neurology at The Ohio State University Medical Center, as well as her fellowship in neurophysiology and epilepsy.
To get to know Dr. Klatte better, we asked her five questions.
Check out answers below.
Why did you choose epilepsy / neurology / etc. as your concentration?
When I entered medical school, I had planned to do pediatrics. However, during rotations I quickly learned that I was not a fan! I really enjoyed neurology: it took a lot of creative thinking, and still allowed for continuity of care with patients. During residency, I had planned to be a general neurologist and pursue a general clinical neurophysiology fellowship (EEG/EMG). However, at the time, this fellowship was not available. Ohio State (where I trained) did have an epilepsy fellowship. I knew I enjoyed EEG reading, so opted in. I have never looked back. I love being an epilepsy sub-specialist and taking care of the whole patient (mood, cognition, seizures, quality of life).
What do you think are the biggest challenges for people with epilepsy and how are you addressing them?
So many challenges: stigma, discrimination in the job setting, cost of medications, driving, lack of public transport (in many places), lack of independence, depression, cognitive issues, relationship strain, and not being offered all potential treatment options for refractory epilepsy.
In our epilepsy clinic, we do our very best to provide comprehensive care. I am trying to establish quality metrics for our general neurology clinic to ensure all epilepsy patients in our system receive comprehensive care, and are offered referral to the epilepsy clinic as soon as needed. This is based upon data I collected from a Six Sigma project during graduate school. I realized we have a significant gap in care: this is not unique to my health system by any means, rather this remains a national and even international issue. I have been meeting 1:1 with many of our general neurologists to gather feedback on barriers to comprehensive care and referrals, and to start diving into health equity aspects of this gap. I created a flowsheet within EPIC that is now mandatory for all general neurologists to help guide quality care. We also try to do educational sessions for docs and patients.
Can you tell us about a patient who inspires you?
So many patients inspire me! I have admiration for many patients who overcome adversity and try to make the most of their situation. For instance, many of my patients have ongoing seizures, difficulty with jobs or relationships, but do their very best to overcome adversity. Many have become excellent artists, and use their artwork to express what it feels or means to them to have seizures. I also admire patients who are brave enough to explore treatment options, such as surgery. I know this can initially be a very scary conversation, but can oftentimes offer the best chance at seizure freedom. I also admire many patients who make it through day by day, despite various struggles as a result of having epilepsy.
Why is being a member of Epilepsy Alliance America’s National Professional Advisory Committee important to you?
In recent years, I have been involved with the Epilepsy Alliance Ohio (previously served on the Board of Directors, and Professional Advisory Board. I was excited to have the opportunity to also contribute to the Epilepsy Alliance America on the national level. I am very passionate about ensuring comprehensive, quality care for patients with epilepsy and excited to help with opportunities to improve patient care and epilepsy awareness. I also have an interest in healthcare policy, and feel groups such as the Epilepsy Alliance America can have influence in this regard.
Looking ahead to the next 5-10 years, how do you think the landscape will have changed for people with epilepsy?
It is inevitable that the healthcare landscape in general is changing. There is increased focus on improving quality of care, while decreasing cost of care. Across the epilepsy community, there is also increased interest in ensuring patients are provided access to all treatment options. Over the next 5-10 years, I am hoping we can learn how to bridge gaps in care and reduce the significant delay in referral to epilepsy centers. This will allow our patients to have a higher chance to become seizure free. And, this can also help reduce cost of care by preventing emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
I also expect we will see reduced stigma against patients with epilepsy. Healthcare providers and epilepsy organizations must continue to focus on improving epilepsy awareness and increased education.
I practice in central Ohio, where public transportation options are very limited. Many of my patients struggle due to the inability to drive. I hope we see new ways to bridge this gap, whether it be through carpooling groups, self-driving cars, or improved public transportation options.