Dental Sleep Medicine Insider January DSM Insider 2018 - Page 15

RYAN JAVANBAKHT 4 STEPS TO SLEEP TEST YES Y ou know the stats. Millions of people suffer with obstruc- tive sleep apnea. More than 85% of them remain undiag- nosed. What is preventing di- agnosis? What is inhibiting patients from moving forward with a sleep test despite your recommendation? In the past few years, sleep testing models have made di- agnostic access easier and more convenient than ever before. Yet some patients still balk at moving forward with a sleep test. You’ve determined your pa- tient needs a sleep test, but they’re resistant. What do you do? How can you have a more positive impact on their over- all health and wellness? The answer isn’t a new model or different diagnostic hard- ware. It starts with you and your team and continues with proper patient education but it doesn’t end there. You must redirect patients’ perceptions and set proper expectations. Finally, follow through with simple systems that minimize barriers to testing and in- crease access to care. Our highest volume, most suc- cessful practices follow these 4 steps. Why? Because they get results. 1. Inside-Out Start from the Inside-Out. Start with you…your purpose and your WHY. Are you and your team believers in the fact that you will improve or save your patients’ lives? When you truly believe, you will exude confi- dence and sincere concern for your patient’s overall wellness. From there, you must know your audience - this is a den- tal patient, in a dental practice, where you are talking about a medical condition, and like- ly billing their medical insur- ance. Let’s not forget, most patients in the US view their healthcare as an expense, not an investment. Show you care and generate “buy-in.” 2. Educate Intelligently Research shows patients will be symptomatic apneics for 5.2 years before their physi- cian suggests evaluating their sleep. That means your pa- tient’s condition has become normal for them. Start by building awareness around what a normal airway or nor- mal sleep should look and feel like. When you see signs of sleep apnea in your patients, educate them on the problems you’ve found (take pictures or utilize CBCT), and then elabo- rate on the consequences of these symptoms, while con- necting them to the associated co-morbidities. This will cre- ate urgency and build value, allowing you to confidently order a diagnostic solution – the sleep test.