The simple words: ‘we can test you tonight at your own home’ as opposed to: ‘we can test you in two weeks at the sleep lab’ proved to be highly influential in getting the patients to agree to a test. When I said those words about having the test done immediately and at home, fewer patients objected.
Our preliminary experience shows that home sleep testing in Nurse-Practitioner-owned practices is successful and can improve access to sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment. Patients can effectively self-administer the monitor at home and nurse practitioners were able to quickly incorporate the diagnostic process within their normal workflow.
We believe that sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment can be a natural extension to other disease management programs like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and heart disease; thus, allowing family practices to play a bigger role in improving the delivery of care. Barriers that limit access to sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment may be reduced with the initiation of a HST program within primary care practices.
I know my patients’ lifestyle issues, their problems, and support systems, and can therefore make a more significant impact on initiating a best therapeutic approach – one tailored for each patient. With the family physician involved in home sleep testing, the patient benefits greatly by having a consistent and cost effective management plan for all their conditions.
I see OSA as being analogous to those other disorders; that is why family docs need to be doing this. The biggest advantage with the SleepView [home sleep testing] program is that I have another way to gain important clinical information on my patients right from my office. My patients gain because they learn of their clinical situation regarding sleep apnea from the person they have a trusting relationship with – their primary care physician.
Providers feel the at-home sleep studies are very convenient for the patient. It is easy for the medical assistant to use. The patient likes to be able to sleep in their own bed, and they feel the SleepView (home sleep monitor) is easy to use.
I have used the SleepView as an aid in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea since September of 2012 at our on-site medical center for a large US steel manufacturer.
It has paid for itself many times over!
The ease of use, the ability to have the patient do the study in their own bed, and the cost-savings are driving forces to make utilization of this technology a “no brainer”. Additionally, the support from CleveMed and their staff is superior and the formal interpretation, that is pre-formatted, is quite easy. I have been astounded by the frequent finding of significant sleep apnea and am constantly thanked by those whose treatment has “changed their lives” and in my opinion I have saved more than one life!
The ease with which our patients can complete a full night sleep study, in the comfort and privacy of their own homes, has been a boon to our growing practice of treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Once uploaded to the web portal the turnaround time for the signed home sleep test report is rapid. The SleepView is very well appreciated by our patients and highly recommended by us as a home testing device.
I want to thank all involved with making this program a reality. It has greatly improved my sleeping. I am now rested when I wake in the morning. My wife can sleep without an iPod in her ears!