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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on January 30th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: January 30, 2017

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

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


‘Dr. Tony’ cleared thousands of truckers to hit the road. But were his medical exams legit?” 
January 27, 2017

From the website: “A licensed chiropractor, Anthony Lefteris got federally certified in 2014 to conduct the medical exams that truckers must pass to get their commercial driver’s license. ... Lefteris, who worked alone, proved prolific. He could complete nearly as many exams in an hour as a typical federally certified examiner did in a month. In less than three years, he issued more than 6,500 certificates of good health to truckers from 43 states. ... There was just one problem, prosecutors say: He didn’t actually do the full medical exam that is required by federal law.”

Takeaway: If I was a betting woman, I'd lay odds that more than half of those truckers have a sleep disorder that's gone undiagnosed and untreated. 


A sleep disorder conference for health professionals” 
January 26, 2017

From the website:The  purpose of the conference is to expand the understanding of healthcare providers and the community of the impact of sleep disorders on many major illnesses.

Takeaway: Why isn't this a thing nationwide? Maybe this should be a new goal for state sleep societies... to offer a sleep health conference to healthcare providers outside the field of sleep medicine, who aren't already versed in sleep, so we can get some more cross-pollination of ideas about treating chronic illness. 


Can independent practices stay viable using price transparency?” 
January 27, 2017

From the website:Physicians should post prices for general well and sick visits, basic procedures, and other regular services when feasible, allowing patients to make better-informed decisions.  A business that provides value to the consumer will undoubtedly thrive.  The larger the physician repertoire, the more a consumer reaps the benefits of your expertise, and the busier the practice becomes.

Takeaway: This is something a small, independent lab may consider doing if they are to develop rapport and build trust with their current, as well as future, patients. 


New Telemedicine Grant Focuses on Sleep Care” 
January 16, 2017

From the website:The goal of the study is to see if telemedicine can be used to effectively diagnose and deliver care to obstructive sleep apnea patients. Results from the study will help to develop a telemedicine care model that can be replicated across the country. 

Takeaway: It's so encouraging to see the telemedicine wave continue, with sleep medicine undoubtedly at the helm. 


January 27, 2017 Tribune exposé on drug interactions reprises 20-year-old U.S. News report–highlights empty promises of pharmacy reform” 
January 27, 2017

From the website: “That finding suggests that the public’s belief that pharmacists are among the most trusted professionals may be misplaced. Furthermore, it was the independent pharmacies—which the paper noted pride themselves for offering personalized carewho fared worse in the study than retail chains. Independent pharmacies, as a group, failed to recognize the dangerous drug interactions 72 percent of the time compared to 49 percent for chain pharmacists. ... Grim stats indeed considering that, according to the paper, one in 10 people take five or more drugs–twice the percentage in 1994.”

Takeaway: Further evidence that sleep technologists need to be vigilant when it comes to recording and confirming patient medication lists, not only for general best practices as a healthcare professional, but because those drug interactions that pharmacists are missing might be a major player in the development or worsening of certain sleep disorders.


Midnight in the Garden of Non-24 Sleep-Wake Disorder: How Much Do You Know?” 
January 26, 2017

From the website: “It’s time to lift a very rare condition called Non-24 Sleep-Wake Disorder, or Non-24, from the shadows so that those who are living with it can be better understood.”

Takeaway: Yes, it's rare, and no, it's not limited only to people who are blind. Here's some good basics on this challenging sleep disorder for sleep technologists to master.


USPSTF: Evidence lacking for obstructive sleep apnea screening” 
January 26, 2017

From the website:An evidence report from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) showed uncertainty about the accuracy and clinical utility of potential screening tools for obstructive sleep apnea in adults, as published in JAMA. The task force concluded that there is insufficient evidence to assess the benefits and harms of screenings in asymptomatic adults.

Takeaway: It was worth a shot. Keep trying, screening lobbyists! If an OSA screening was conducted on every patient who presented with symptoms of OSA by their primary care physician, just imagine the possibilities for helping literally millions of people with the detection and treatment of their underlying sleep disorders. 

BIO:  Tamara Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep health information clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health news headlines daily. She is also Web Consultant for the American Sleep Apnea Association, writes MS-related columns for two medical publishers, and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz, and other places.

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