Your Patients Need Sleep Help!

By Duane M. Johnson, PhD.

Sleep is vital to our health and well being.  Over 100 million people of all ages in the US regularly fail to get a good night’s sleep.  Many of these are your patients. Sleep deprivation is serious because it results in decreased daily performance, dramatically increased safety risks and dangers, and personal and business relationships suffering due to mood disturbances and exacerbated health complications.

Over 80 different sleep disorders have been identified via clinical studies.  Sleep disorders impact cardiovascular health, diabetic maintenance, pregnancy outcomes, child development, surgical success, and other life altering and threatening matters.

The first priority is you. As a health professional, are you managing your own sleep needs so you are benefitting from healthy sleep? How are your family members doing?

For your patients, do you include a sleep screening during your patient H&P exam? A significant amount of your patients have sleep health problems that need attention.  If evaluated and treated, the results combine to make your family, OBGYN, cardiology and most other specialty treatment outcome even more probable and successful.

A number of doctors and physician extenders have inserted the STOP sleep screen into their health intake form or verbal evaluation.  These fours questions quickly bring patient sleep issues to your attention.

  • Snoring –         Do you snore loudly?
  • Tired –              Do you often feel tired, fatigued or sleep during the daytime?
  • Observed –     Has anyone observed you stop breathing during your sleep?
  • Pressure (BP) – Do you have or are you being treated for high blood pressure?

The most common sleep issues are snoring, sleep apnea, restless legs, insomnia and simply poor sleep hygiene knowledge.  When treated, many patients have noticeable improvement in their daily performance, safety, and relationships which also often contribute to solving their presenting problem.

The STOP questions, when used with four more questions now called the STOP-BANG  questions, will dramatically improve your quick sleep diagnostics evaluation.

  • BMI –                 BMI more than 30?
  • Age –                  Age over 50 yr old?
  • Neck –                Neck circumference greater than 15” (women) 17” (men)?
  • Gender –            Male?

With convenient home sleep studies, proactive computer program sleep awareness education, cognitive behavioral therapy, CPAP and sleep oral appliance, and other sleep health services now available, your practice can orchestrate patient sleep service help that at times dramatically turns patient lives around.  These sleep services, in cooperation with a sleep professional either provided internally through your practice or in referral collaboration with sleep professionals at their sleep center, can ethically and legally add a new revenue stream for your practice.

Make it a professional goal to learn more about how to integrate a patient sleep screening and treatment service into your clinic or practice.  For example, a snoring service is an excellent starting point since it is estimated by theAmericanAcademyof Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery that 25% of theU.S.population are habitual snorers.

Based on my many years of consultative practice experiences, I can assure you that treated sleep patients are so grateful they frequently will spontaneously hug you for their positive life changes, even their marriages you saved.

Oh, by the way, you will also be pleased with the enhanced financial improvements it brings your practice’s bottom line.  

For further helpful information contact:

Duane M. Johnson, PhD

Sleep Center Management Institute


Duane Johnson, PhD is the Senior Partner and co-founder of Sleep Center Management Institute and a contributing author to Efficiency in Practice.  For more articles like this and our free report, Patient Collections – It’s Make or Break for Many Practices, visit

This article can be reprinted freely online, as long as the entire article and this resource box are included.

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