If you have recommended that your patient be treated with positive airway pressure therapy, their next important step is to visit a therapy equipment supplier – sometimes called a home medical equipment (HME) provider – to buy their therapy equipment.
Some patients may not know where to start looking and may ask you for guidance. So it’s helpful for you to have a list of preferred equipment suppliers to recommend.
Like you, equipment suppliers play a major role in ensuring your patients achieve long-term adherence and healthy outcomes, so it’s important to refer your patients to sleep therapy equipment providers who offer the following:
|Patient education||Do their staff explain the importance of treatment, and how to use and take care of their equipment?|
|Mask choices||Do they offer a wide variety of masks to suit your patient’s unique anatomy and lifestyle needs?|
|Proper fitting setup||Do they ensure that patients achieve proper mask fit by fitting them in a reclining position?|
|Objective compliance data||Does the sleep therapy equipment include compliance monitoring tools that provide you with detailed data on your patient’s therapy usage and efficacy?|
|Patient follow-up||Do they call patients straight after set-up and throughout the first week on therapy to answer questions and address any issues that may arise? Do they regularly remind patients when it’s time to service their equipment or replace any accessories to ensure their system is working optimally?|
|On-call patient support||Can their staff be easily reached to assist patients with therapy issues? Do they have convenient hours of operation?|
Guide your patients in their search for an equipment supplier – it can make all the difference to their therapy outcomes. You can also refer them to the Wake Up To Sleep program for tips on what to do when they visit their sleep therapy equipment supplier.
Referring patients for oral appliance therapy
If you have recommended your patient be treated with an oral appliance, their next step is to visit a dental sleep specialist to undergo an oral examination to determine the viability for an oral appliance and the type of oral appliance that will best fit your patient.
Again, some patients may not know where to find a dental sleep specialist and may ask you for guidance. It is helpful for you to have a list of preferred clinicians to recommend. If you are interested in finding a clinician who uses ResMed’s Narval CC, please contact us.
Like you, dental sleep specialists play a major role in ensuring your patients achieve long-term adherence and healthy outcomes, so it’s important to refer your patients to providers who offer the following:
- Extensive dental sleep experience: Are they able to provide you with their credentials specific to dental sleep (eg, AADSM certifications, etc.) and most recent CE efforts? Is Dental Sleep and active part of their practice (dental sleep patients/month > 10)?
- Referral partnership protocol: Are they able to provide you with a workflow that will complement your practice (eg, patient case notes/SOAP notes)? Can they share case studies and documentation to support how they will interface with your office/how they interface with other referral sources?
- Oral appliances choices: Do they offer a wide variety of oral appliances to suit your patient’s unique anatomy and lifestyle needs?
- Proper setup: Can they walk you through the patient experience and explain their metrics for patient success? (Will they use screening questionnaires or home sleep testing to define success? What do you prefer based on the patient's level of OSA severity?)
- Patient follow-up: When does the patient return for titration visits? Generally how many appointments are required in a given three-month span to find the optimal titration setting? Do they have a follow-up protocol after optimal titration is reached and success is agreed to by you and the clinician (eg, every 6 months or annually)?
- Patient support: Can their staff be easily reached to assist patients with therapy issues? Do they have convenient hours of operation? Do they accept medical insurance to cover the oral appliance or do they provide support in submitting claims for payment?