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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on September 20th, 2016

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: September 20, 2016

Sleep Technologist Advice


what sleep technologists need to know

While You Were Sleeping: What Sleep Technologists Need to Know This Week

Your media watchdog for headlines and trends relevant to sleep technology and patient education.



Employing Home Sleep Apnea Testing with Hospital Inpatients
September 13, 2016

From the article: “Proactive change in provision of testing diversity is necessary today in order to deliver quality care and treatment, and encourage wellness. For our system, HSAT for hospital sleep apnea testing is an added service toward successful sleep care.”

Takeaway: Shari Angel Newman RST, RPSGT, clinical manager of regional sleep services at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, makes a thoughtful appeal for changing up the system so patients with sleep apnea don’t continue to fall through the cracks.

She uses the example of her hospital system’s effort to change protocols to help patients who clearly had sleep-breathing disorders while being admitted for other chronic conditions. She and her peers found ways to identify them, through careful application of HSAT and clarification on scope of practice, so their sleep apnea could be diagnosed and/or treated as inpatients.



Common Ground: Patients and physicians who share a diagnosis say both parties benefit: Doctors have more empathy, and patients feel less alone
September 1, 2016

From the article: “When patients go to a doctor with reports of pain, fatigue, weakness, or other symptoms associated with a neurologic disorder, they may think, ‘You have no idea what I'm going through.’ But occasionally, physicians do know what their patients are going through—because they have the same neurologic disorder.”

Takeaway: How many of us found our way into sleep technology because we had our own sleep health issues (or had loved ones who did)? It’s never a bad idea to share that you have had a sleep study yourself, or that you are a CPAP user, if you are working with a patient who is anxious or skeptical about the process. When we share our first-hand, real-world experiences, we can inspire our patients to be more confident in the process and achieve common ground through shared experience when they need our compassion the most.



There’s a Doctor in the Hypersomnia House
September 12, 2016

From the article: “A few weeks ago, we launched our latest Hypersomnia Foundation program – Ask the Doctor. We thank everyone who has sent questions and encourage you to send your questions to atd@hypersomniafoundation.org.... Some of the questions that we received made us think about the language that we use when talking about sleep disorders... So, today, thanks to your questions, we will discuss a few of these terms and provide a little background on why there is so much confusion.”

Takeaway: I love where this is going. Sleep technologists who focus primarily on sleep breathing disorders might want to read this to brush up on what they know about hypersomnia. In general, we could all use a refresher course on the topic, using the same vocabulary as our patients, to make sure we are all talking about the same thing.




Positive Airway Pressure Systems Side-by-Side Comparison Guide (September 2016)
September 14, 2016

From the article: “Compare 7 positive airway pressure (PAP) systems side by side. Click on the thumbnail above or on “PAPSystems0916” to view the full matrix at a legible size. Sleep Review’s PAP matrix compares features such as warranty, operating modes, pressure relief, dimensions, weight, noise level, ramp time, operating pressure range, data recorded, and features such as leak compensation for the following products: 3B Medical Inc Luna CPAP & Auto-CPAP, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare IntelliPAP2 AutoAdjust CPAP System, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare ICON+ Series, Human Design Medical LLC The Z1 CPAP, Philips Respironics DreamStation, ResMed AirCurve 10 V Auto, and ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet.”

Takeaway: I love these comparison charts, they really help us do our jobs better and highlight what’s new in the world of technologies for treating sleep apnea.





5 Key Steps to Assessing and Identifying At-Risk Patients for Respiratory Compromise
September 8, 2016

From the article: “The Society of Hospital Medicine, which is the largest organization representing hospitalists and a resource for hospital medicine, recently released a comprehensive guide, “Reducing Adverse Drug Events Related to Opioids” (otherwise known as the RADEO guide).”

Takeaway: None of us should be surprised to learn that the first two steps for identifying risk refer to OSA. It’s always good news to hear that other areas of medicine are putting sleep health (especially when it relates to respiration) first and foremost when it comes to talking about chronic health and patient safety.

Link: See the original guide here: Reducing Adverse Drug Events Related to Opioids



Restless Legs Syndrome Awareness Day 2016
September 15, 2016

From their Facebook event page: “RLS Awareness Day2016 is September 23! … Now is the time to start planning how you will raise awareness that restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a serious but treatable condition.”

Takeaway: We see so much of this in the sleep center, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on what RLS is, why it happens, and how it is treated. If you don’t already do so, you may wish to consider ways to share this information with patients through illustrated handouts, face-to-face discussions, and the like.




Oklahoma legislators to hold public hearing on the cost of sleep studies
September 12, 2016

From the article: “The request for interim study proposal (#16-016) submitted by Rep. Lewis Moore (R-Arcadia indicates that the scope of the ‘Study of Sleep Studies’ will be, ‘Innovations in sleep studies that can save the state millions of dollars.’ According to the Edmond Sun, Rep. Moore would like lawmakers to determine whether doctors charge too much for sleep studies. In the Sun article, he claimed that in-lab sleep studies can cost from $3,000 to $8,000 per night. … The Public Health hearing, which is open to the public, will be held in the state capitol in Oklahoma City in room 412C on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Although the hearing will begin at 8:30 a.m., the meeting agenda indicates that the topic of sleep studies will be discussed from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.”

Takeaway: If you live and work in Oklahoma, and you can make it to this important hearing, please go and share what you know. Representative Moore seems to think 100 percent of all patients would be better off having an HSAT, which we all know is absolutely not true. Here’s a great opportunity to perform some sleep activism. If you can’t attend but want to watch the hearings live, check out the webcast as it happens on the Oklahoma State Legislature website.


About the author

Tamara Kaye Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep health information clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health news headlines daily.  She the Chief Content Officer (CCO) for inboundMed and SomnoSure and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz, and MultipleSclerosis.net, among other places.


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