Posted on Monday, August 25, 2014
Three years after offering central New Hampshire residents hope for a better night’s sleep, the Sleep Lab at Speare Memorial Hospital has earned national accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). The AASM’s mission is optimal health through better sleep, and is dedicated to setting standards of care and promoting excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research.
“We congratulate Speare Memorial Hospital’s Sleep Lab on meeting the high standards required for receiving accreditation as a sleep orders disorder center,” says Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, AASM president. “The Sleep Lab is an important resource to the local medical community and will provide academic and scientific value, in addition to the highest quality care for patients suffering from sleep disorders.”
To receive accreditation, a sleep center must meet or exceed all standards for professional health care as designated by the AASM, including: sleep technologists certified and registered with the Board of Registered Polysonographic Technologists; quality assurance measures through patient satisfaction and turnaround time on reports; and meeting all facility specifications.
“We’ve been working toward certification since the beginning,” says the Sleep Lab’s care coordinator, Registered Therapist Darcy Farina, “as there is a great deal of data gathering and documentation required. We have always been confident in quality of care, but accreditation demonstrates we meet and exceed national standards of care in sleep medicine.” Accreditation also means more patients can get their care at Speare’s Sleep Lab, having now become a preferred provider for other insurances including Harvard Pilgrim.
Director of Cardiopulmonary and Radiology Services Linda Nestor notes, “Accreditation of the Sleep Lab reinforces the confidence patients and referring providers have in our program. It underscores that the best care is available right here at Speare.”
When the Sleep Lab opened at Speare in June 2011, it was to provide central New Hampshire communities with access to “better sleep.” According to Dr. Michele Gaier, medical director of the Sleep Lab, sleep apnea is still significantly under reported and affects 20 million Americans, “but awareness of how good sleep can impact a person’s overall health has dramatically increased over the last 20 years.”
Since opening, the Sleep Lab has conducted 476 sleep studies in-house, and in April of this year, began offering out-of-center sleep studies. This is in response to changing standards of care and insurance requirements. Either way, “When you treat people and they sleep well it is life changing,” notes Dr. Gaier. “When you give someone back the gift of sleep it is a wonderful thing.”
For more information about the Sleep Lab and referral requirements from your physician, call (603) 238-2232.Speare Memorial Hospital—nationally ranked as Top 100 Critical Access Hospital and 2014 HealthStrong™ Hospital— is a 24-hour, acute care, non-profit community hospital and health care provider serving Plymouth and the communities of central New Hampshire. Visit online at www.spearehospital.com and join us on Facebook and Twitter.