A Message From The CEO

 

Message From The CEO

 

Part of my job is to listen to suggestions which may improve overall patient care outcomes and I receive a lot of good information from healthcare providers and patients.  Unfortunately, many patients around the country fall through the cracks after the sleep testing has been completed.  On a national level, compliance with CPAP hovers around 40% threshold which is caused by many factors including a poor experience at a sleep disorders center, a lack of care or knowledge from individuals who work for durable medical equipment (DME) companies or no follow-ups with their provider.  When proper care is administered to these patients, compliance in many cases surpasses 80%.  So how do we get the ball rolling to ensure that these patients achieve this level of compliance?  First and foremost, all parties involved in the process of caring for patients with sleep disordered breathing difficulties have got to step up and take responsibility.  This including centers who provide the testing.  Sleep technologists should spend time with the patient and explain the benefits and proper usage of CPAP.  The patient should also be allowed to try a variety of masks before the exam begins and all questions besides the final results should be answered before the patient leaves in the morning.  Further, a survey should be sent to patients about 6 weeks after the study to ensure that care has been provided and that problems, if indicated, have been addressed adequately.  Employees who work for and distribute CPAP equipment to the patients should be fairly knowledgeable about sleep disordered breathing and know about the machines they set up.  The patients should further educated as to the tricks of the trade which may have helped others become compliant.  The next step would be to ensure a visit or follow-up appointment with a sleep medicine specialist.  Further clinical assessment may be necessary and sleep specialists are trained to troubleshoot issues with compliance and may even order other procedures or equipment to get the patient to the next level.  Continued visits with the sleep specialist are essential to overall care.  Sleep disorders centers should work closely with the sleep specialists and offer mask fitting consultations and even CPAP support group meetings.  All of these services are offered by Rocky Mountain Sleep Disorders Center in Great Falls, Butte and Helena with our sleep specialists and staff.  

  We are pleased to announce that Kurt Kubicka, MD, and Elizabeth Ansley, PA-C have joined our practice in Helena.  Dr. Kubicka has been a long standing physician in the Helena area and is board certified in sleep medicine.  He is currently accepting new patients.  Elizabeth has been involved in sleep medicine for quite some time now and will be handling follow ups and managing patients who need additional care with CPAP compliance.  Dr. David Anderson, Dr. Tim Roux and Dr. James English are still available for sleep medicine, pulmonology (Lung) and behavioral health services as well which provides you with well rounded care.  

If you have suggestions which will help us provide better care to our patients, I would sure like to hear from you.  Our goal is to provide you exceptional service not only during your sleep study, but afterwards as well!

 

Sleep Well!

  

Paul F. Schmook, RPSGT

Chief Executive Officer    

paul 2009