On December 2, 2015, Medscape released “The Year in Medicine 2015: News That Made a Difference”. The number 4 top story, out of 31 that made the list, was the Institute of Medicine report on ME/CFS. As a disease that is widely misunderstood, with patients poorly treated and often maligned, this is indeed news that is making a difference.
Central to the Bateman Horne Center’s mission is to improve clinical care for all those impacted by ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia. “We want to bring these often misunderstood and poorly managed disease into the mainstream,” says Dr. Bateman.
Putting that mission into action, Dr. Bateman often volunteers her time and expertise to projects outside of the clinic that will move this mission forward and bring the vision of BHC closer to reality. So when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (ARRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Social Security Administration (SSA) asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to convene an expert committee to examine the evidence base for ME/CFS and she was invited to join, she agreed. This required her to carve out the time needed to fully participate despite her already over-burdened schedule, but it was an opportunity to impact positive change that she could not pass up.
Dr. Bateman knows all too well the overwhelming task that doctors face. While she is able to spend hours with a new patient because she is in private practice, most physicians must attempt to absorb a voluminous amount of information in a short 15 minute appointment slot. With new, clear diagnostic criteria as put forth, diagnosis is far less complicated and more readily deployed in the traditional clinical setting. A simpler criteria, well deployed and utilized, will lead to better, faster diagnosis for millions of suffering individuals.
In Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness, Dr. Bateman and her co-committee members proposed new diagnostic criteria that can be used in the real world by medical professionals so that patients can be diagnosed and receive much-needed treatment. Our hope is that it will also serve to enhance understanding among health care providers and the public.
The 304-page landmark report, “Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness”, was released on February 10, 2015. See more at: http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2015/ME-CFS.aspx
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