MARYSVILLE ¬– Community Memorial Healthcare (CMH), Marysville, recently received accreditation and had a certified site visit for its sleep lab services by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
“This accreditation reflects a commitment by CMH to ensure that our patients with sleep disorders are receiving only the highest quality of care, keeping in line with our mission, ‘To excel at caring for you’”, said Curtis Hawkinson, Chief Executive Officer. “The AASM standards for accreditation have been the gold standard by which the medical community, and the public, have evaluated sleep medicine facilities for many years,” he said.
“I spent over a year updating our policies, procedures, and networking with other sleep labs to earn this accreditation,” said Roxanne Woodside, CRT, RPSGT. Woodside, a registered polysomnographer, is the sleep lab coordinator and sleep tech at CMH.
According to the AASM, by achieving accreditation, a sleep facility demonstrates a commitment to the provision of quality diagnostic services and the longitudinal management of sleep patients. It also indicates to patients and referring physicians that a facility is dedicated to providing the highest patient care in sleep medicine, said the AASM website.
A sleep study (also called a polysomnogram) is a test that records your physical state during various stages of sleep and wakefulness. It provides data that are essential in evaluating sleep and sleep-related complaints, such as identifying sleep stages, body position, blood oxygen levels, respiratory events, muscle tone, heart rate, amount of snoring and general sleep behavior.
“A lot of people who have poor quality of life due to lack of sleep are often contributing their symptoms to other problems,” she said. “I see a lot of people with sleep apnea, and symptoms for that are often overlooked or attributed to other things.” Symptoms for sleep apnea include: Loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, awakening with a dry mouth, morning headache, difficulty staying asleep (insomnia), excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia), difficulty paying attention while awake, or irritability.
“In addition to sleep apnea patients, I also see a lot of people with AFib (atrial fibrillation), insomnia, seizures, PTSD, and restless legs,” Woodside said. “I’ve also seen an increase in teenagers recently, which most people wouldn’t expect.”
Woodside said she prides herself on the personal care each patient receives, as she is the only person giving sleep study patients direct care, from scheduling until results are determined. “It’s nice to have a personal impact on each patient,” she said. “Once I get the orders for a study, I schedule the patient, greet them, do any necessary education with them, and get to do the follow up. I can answer their questions, and nobody gets lost in the shuffle.” Sleep studies are interpreted by Dr. Steven Short, a pulmonologist at CMH, or Dr. Nanda Kumar, a neurologist at CMH. Dr. Short, Dr. Kumar, and Woodside will all consult with a patient’s primary care physician to create a personalized treatment program for any condition.
According to the American Sleep Association, approximately 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. Untreated sleep disorders can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, heart attack, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, stroke, or depression. A sleep study must be ordered by your medical provider.
“I don’t only see patients with local primary care,” Woodside said. “People come here for sleep studies from Stormont Vail in Topeka, Beatrice, Lincoln, and even Omaha.” Sleep tests are conducted two nights each week at CMH.
If you think you may have a sleep disorder, or other breathing-related struggles, please contact your primary care physician for more information on a sleep study. CMH is accredited through Medicare for sleep studies.