Today’s Trends in Sleep Technology: From Broad Strokes to Finer Points of the Sleep Navigator Role
Welcome to the third Trends article. In the previous edition, we explored a perspective on how our field has evolved from a trade to a profession to meet the needs of the complex patient and numerous other demands in our modern sleep disorders settings. In this issue, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the role of the sleep navigator from both a bird’s-eye view and from a worm’s-eye view and share recommendations on how you as a sleep professional can fit into this role.
Sleep Navigator: OSA Management When Life Hangs in the Balance
There is an old saying that “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” Sometimes this can resemble our approach to sleep technology. We can get so caught up in the details, we lose sight of the big picture and our place in it. One of these areas is on the inpatient side in the management of sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBDs). We have always been so focused on our cookie-cutter outpatient diagnosis and treatment that we overlook the real-world consequences that a chronic condition like OSA, for example, can have when patients are sick and hospitalized. Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in both the awareness of the added risks placed on perioperative patients by OSA and the resulting effort to address inpatient management of the disease because of heightened regulatory scrutiny of hospital readmission rates and consequences for unhealthy outcomes from hospital stays.
In this article we review the role of the sleep navigator from two different perspectives: the thousand-foot view of a sleep navigator who oversees a large health system or hospitals not in close proximity, and the in-the-trenches role that takes place on the ground, typically in more local settings, that enables face-to-face interventions with patients.
For a high-level approach to the role of sleep navigator, we interviewed sources that oversee the management of OSA throughout large health systems or in locations that are separated by a great distance to get their perspective. For a ground-level view, we garnered input from sleep navigators who are embedded in their individual hospitals, giving them the ability to conduct OSA management at a more granular level.
You can read the entire article in the Q4 issue of A2Zzz.