Not all sleep clinics are created equal. There are many differences between each sleep clinic that can vary from region to region and city to city. We have compiled a list of 5 common questions to determine if the sleep clinic you are looking into is that of a quality sleep clinic.
1. Is the testing facility accredited by the AASM?
There are over 1400 accredited sleep disorder centers in the US by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). This accreditation demonstrates that a sight can deliver the highest quality care to patients with a sleep disorder. To become accredited a sleep disorders center must meet requirements for structural, professional & human resources, clinical and technical standards, as well as quality assurances. Many of the qualifications to become accredited involve the qualifications of the sleep physician overseeing the sleep center, the education of the sleep technicians that administer the overnight sleep study, and the ongoing education of these sleep medical professionals. Included in the process is a visit from a current board certified sleep specialist to review the records of sleep tests and conduct an on sight inspection of the facility, conducted by the AASM. Alaska Sleep Clinic (Anchorage facility) has been accredited by AASM for 6 years and is one of only two sleep disorder centers in the state of Alaska with this credential as well as the only non-hospital based facility with this accreditation.
2. Is the Technician administering my overnight sleep study registered?
RPSGT – Registered Polysomnographic Technologist– To become a RPSGT a technician must successfully complete a formal A-STEP training program accredited thru the AASM and complete 9-18 months of sleep study experience and pass an extensive 5 hour test of knowledge. This assures the patient that they are in the hands of an experience professional when they come to our facility for an overnight sleep test. All Alaska Sleep Clinic’s sleep testing technologists are RPSGT credentialed.
3. Is the doctor who will review and interpret my sleep test a Board Certified Sleep Doctor?
To attain a Board Certification as a Sleep Physician a doctor must undergo additional training . This constitutes completing a separate 2 year fellowship. If you want the highest level of care a board certified sleep physician is absolutely necessary. With more than 80 different types of sleep disorders you want a doctor with a vast experience in sleep studies to thoroughly understand your particular sleep situation. At the Alaska Sleep Clinic our medical director Dr. Alec Glass is a Board Certified Sleep Physician as well as a Mayo Clinic trained Neurologist.
4. Will I see the Doctor or a PA or NP?
Some facilities use Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants to see patients. Often this expedites the process of getting into the clinic for a study. However, some patients resent never seeing the sleep doctor. Make sure that your needs as a patient are being met by the highest level of trained professional that you require. Is it an option to see the sleep doctor or does everyone have to see an NP or PA before seeing the sleep doctor? This question is especially critical for the patient that has a complex medical history or has many comorbidities. At Alaska Sleep Clinic, you always see Dr. Alec Glass – our medical director.
5. Can I take a tour of the facility before my sleep study?
For many patients a tour of the facility will help to overcome their concerns about spending the night away from home. A tour of the facility can put the patient at ease, familiarize the patient with the facility layout and location, and introduce the patient to the sleep lab director and managers. Patients can also ask questions of the staff to alleviate apprehensions. Every patient will have a better sleep test if they know what to expect. Stop by anytime to take a tour of Alaska Sleep Clinic at any of our 4 facilities in Alaska (Anchorage, Fairbanks, Soldotna, and Wasilla). We are open 9-5 Monday- Friday.