Home sleep studies – a new, convenient option for patients

Released: 11/06/18

We’ve all had sleepy days because of restless nights.  Maybe going to bed earlier or turning off electronic devices will do the trick.  However, it could be a medical condition impacting your sleep… and your health.

“Many times, it is a partner who notices interruptive sleep patterns like snoring, restlessness, gasping or other behaviors,” says Jena Elsbernd, director of Respiratory Therapy, the department that manages sleep studies at Winneshiek Medical Center (WMC).   She suggests if any of these sleeping behaviors exist, or if you have daytime fatigue, unexplained irritability, depression, reduced attention, or have trouble staying awake when driving, working or other daily tasks, you should talk to your doctor.

“Your doctor will work with you to determine if you need a sleep study.  Not every patient meets criteria, but if appropriate, you may be able to take your sleep test at home with Winneshiek Medical Center’s new equipment,” says Elsbernd.

Home Sleep Studies

Winneshiek Medical Center’s new home sleep study equipment allows patients to perform the sleep study at home rather than spending the night at the medical center. Elsbernd says, “It can be inconvenient for patients to spend the night at WMC, or their normal sleep patterns are altered because of the unfamiliar location.  The new equipment is easy to use and convenient for patients any day of the week.”

Most insurances cover home sleep studies, and the WMC Respiratory Therapy team will work with your insurance company for pre-authorization of the service.  “As soon as we get clearance from insurance, we can schedule your study – most of the time within the week,” she says.  Members of the Respiratory Therapy team teach patients how to set up the simple equipment, and when patients are at home and ready to turn in for the night, they follow the three simple steps for the study.  The next day, patients return the equipment to WMC.  Elsbernd says, “A Mayo Clinic sleep specialist reads the test and sends the results to your primary care doctor.  The process is simple and convenient for patients.”

Make an Appointment

If left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to heart attack, stroke, car accidents and problems at home and work.  Talk to your doctor about sleep studies, and ask if the home testing option is right for you.  WMC accepts referrals from all area clinics and providers, or call Winneshiek Medical Center Decorah Clinic for an appointment: 563-382-2911.

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