National accreditation for GMHC Sleep testing can now be done at home or in lab

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The sleep lab staff at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics can now offer accredited testing at home as well as in the hospital lab. Above, Amanda Miller, R.R.T, demonstrates the equipment used for home testing. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Shelia Tomkins

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics recently earned accreditation for home sleep testing through the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC).

An addition to its previous accreditation for in-lab testing, home sleep testing accreditation means that the local sleep lab staff is committed to meeting the standards that facilitate a higher level of performance.

“Some insurance companies, such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield and United Health Care, are beginning to require patients to attempt home sleep testing before approving in-lab testing. GMHC wanted to be proactive so we could continue to serve the community the best that we can, and we are proud to say that we are the first in the area to receive this accreditation,” said Amy Sitzmann, sleep lab manager.

Importance of 

sleep apnea testing

Sleep is essential for good health. If you don’t sleep well due to a sleep disorder, it can affect all areas of your life from your health to your relationships, say experts. Productivity, mood, and motivation can all be negatively affected by poor sleep. Sleep disorders can also significantly impact lung disease and risk for heart disease, including increased blood pressure.

Many sleep disorders go undiagnosed. "If you are tired all the time, know your sleep is poor, you wake up numerous times at night, or have been told you snore or stop breathing, you should speak with your primary provider for testing," said Sitzmann.

Why you may need 

a sleep study

"A medical history and symptom review are not enough to diagnosis a sleep disorder, therefore, a sleep study is important," said Sitzmann. Getting an accurate diagnosis allows a patient to get the treatment they need and improve their overall quality of life.

There are different types of sleep studies based on a patient's symptoms. The most common type of sleep study is a polysomnogram. This overnight study records various processes that may include eye movement, oxygen level, brain activity, chest movement, and airflow in and out of the lungs. 

"Now GMHC can offer this testing in the comfort of your home as well as in our sleep lab,"

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