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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on March 27th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: March 27, 2017

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

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"For Backlogged Labs, Outsourced Sleep Scoring Services Help Ease the Load
March 10, 2017

From the website:Whether it’s caused by a sleep tech taking a much-needed vacation, a seasonal surge related to the meeting of insurance deductibles, or a different disruption to your usual workflow, a potential solution for backlogged sleep labs is to consider outsourcing some or all of your sleep study scoring to scoring companies."

Takeaway: Great advice from editor Sree Roy on hiring freelance scorers with a brief look at upcoming technology to help lead the burden of scoring tests during busy periods.


"The CPAP Assistance Program Needs your Help!
March 23, 2017 

From the forum post:The American Sleep Apnea Association's CPAP Assistance Program is in need of your gently used Bi-Level machines, H3i or H4i Humidifiers. If you have factory sealed masks, tubing or filters or other supplies you would like to donate to our program, please contact us at manager@sleepapnea.org, or call us at 888-293-3650.

Takeaway: Patients often have to change machines or reject using them early into the treatment process. While this is unfortunate, there's no reason the equipment should go to waste. If patients come to you with their new or new-ish equipment, this is a good place to direct them.

Disclosure: The author of this blog is a paid consultant for the American Sleep Apnea Association.


"Dispensaries See New MMJ Market Emerging With Elderly Patient Care
March 15, 2017

From the website:However, long-standing opinions are beginning to change as more research continues to demonstrate the medical benefits of THC and CBD oil with regard to such debilitating conditions as Alzheimer’s. Senior citizens, who lived during the time of marijuana’s demonizing prohibition, ironically may be the fastest-growing demographic that can benefit the most from its medicinal properties.

Takeaway: If you are in state where marijuana is legal either medicinally or also recreationally, your lab probably needs to update its protocols for gathering information about current prescriptions to include marijuana (however it is used). 



"VirtuOx VirtuCLEAN Portable CPAP Cleaner
March 21, 2017

From the website:To use, sleep apnea patients plug their PAP [positive airway pressure] device into VirtuCLEAN, which then automatically cleans the device and shuts off 30 minutes later. According to VirtuOx, in this half-hour time span, VirtuCLEAN kills 99.99% of disease causing pathogens that otherwise reside and grow in the PAP mask, tube, and humidifier chamber. 

Takeaway: SoClean has some competition. This particular product is also portable, so it can be used for travel or in such places as sleep labs. 


"The feds say restrict opioid use. Now what?
March 15, 2017

From the website:The federal government has declared, through its major health policy agencies, that the number of pain patients on opioids and the dosages they are on should be severely restricted.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC), Veteran’s Administration (VA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have all issued new guidelines within the past year to that effect.  Private insurers are following suit, in many cases refusing to pay for high dose opioids.

Takeaway: This is a good piece asking the hard question about what healthcare practitioners can and should do in the face of opioid overuse. After all, so many decisions made between doctors and patients are often predetermined by insurance carrier requirements and the unavailability of pain-management alternatives in local communities. 



"6 Things You Might Not Know About Narcolepsy
March 20, 2017

From the website: “You brush your teeth, put on your pajamas and climb into bed. Someone attaches wires and electrodes to your head, chest and legs. You drift to sleep under the watchful eye of a video camera. ... Sounds like something out of a creepy sci-fi film, but really, it’s a sleep study that can help diagnose narcolepsy.”

Takeaway: You may already know most of these things, but narcolepsy isn't a common concern for most sleep technologists because it's so rare. Still, it's good to be up on your hypersomnia education so that you can be one step ahead of your patients.


"Canadian nurse in legal battle because of Facebook post
March 9, 2017

From the website: "[T]he National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s A Nurse’s Guide to the Use of Social Media states, 'Nurses must not make disparaging remarks about employers or co-workers. Do not make threatening, harassing, profane, obscene, sexually explicit, racially derogatory, homophobic or other offensive comments.' ...In part, the guide discusses patient confidentiality and adhering to HIPAA regulations.”

Takeaway: It's probably safe to assume that these best practices are applicable to more than just nurses, so keep that in mind when you're online. Even if you don't commit a HIPAA violation by doing so, you may still be breaking protocols established by your employer or, from an ethical standpoint, tarnishing the professionalism of your cohorts in the field. 

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.

Take advantage of the free downloads available on the AAST website!  Click here or on the image below to get a free copy of the updated AAST Terms and Definitions!


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