Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disorder that causes the patient to temporarily stop breathing while sleeping. The diagnostic standard for OSA is nocturnal polysomnography in a sleep lab setting, but that is not always feasible for patients. Sleep labs have a limited number of beds and require the patients to sleep in an unfamiliar setting. In-lab testing is often more costly for both providers and patients compared to home sleep testing.
Home sleep testing (HST) is the preferred and most efficient method in most cases. It allows patients to be tested from the comfort of their home, giving physicians more accurate readings. It also eliminates the risk of physicians and lab staff being exposed to germs, viruses, and other harmful pathogens.
Disadvantages of In-Lab Testing for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
There are several reasons why in-lab studies for OSA are not as effective as home sleep testing. The amount of time required to schedule and conduct appointments is one disadvantage. The wait time to download, score, and receive test results may also add to frustration since the process can take weeks to complete. Additionally, there is a risk of inaccurate data, which would require repeating the entire process.
These disadvantages may also lead to higher costs and make the patient more hesitant to move forward. For this reason, more people are opting for HST as a convenient alternative. The turnaround time is significantly less and patients can conduct the study from the comfort of their home.
Improve Patient Experience with Home Sleep Testing
Utilizing HST is a way physicians can improve the overall experience for patients. Patient benefits include being in the comfort of their home or bed, incurring lower costs compared to in-lab testing, and completing the test faster. Since an open bed in a lab is not needed, scheduling and completing the process takes a fraction of the time.
Physicians are using HST devices more frequently due to the unforeseen current environment. With sleep labs and clinics no longer conducting non-essential studies in person, HST allows providers to continue diagnosing patients in an efficient manner.
Advantages of Home Sleep Testing for Physicians
Physicians benefit from HST by having access to sleep results much fastest. Instead of having to wait weeks for results of an in-lab study, results of an HST are typically available within 24 hours when using an app-based device, like DreamClear™. Keeping track of patient data is easier as well, since HST units are compatible with current EMR platforms.
HST is growing in popularity for physicians due to significantly lowering the cost of operating a lab. Equipment can be rented from the device supplier for a fraction of the price compared to being purchased outright. Not only is HST more cost-effective for patients, but physicians also reap the financial benefits too.
Using DreamClear™ to Diagnose Sleep Apnea
Modern technology ensures that patients have the necessary end-to-end care to diagnose sleep conditions. Home sleep testing is an effective way to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea and help patients manage the symptoms from the comfort of their own homes. This is often much more efficient than performing in-lab testing, especially with sleep apnea patients.
Make the right choice for your patients and learn more about home sleep testing. Talk with a member of our team about DreamClear™ today.