“Must Haves” in Your Sleep Center Management Software

Getting a good night’s sleep is on the mind of more and more people today. Numerous studies are making the headlines documenting about how we don't get enough sleep, bookstore shelves are lined with volumes on how to sleep better, and hundreds of products have been introduced to improve sleep. There are approximately 70 recognized sleep disorders. Rest assured, all of this has not been lost on today’s entrepreneurs. Sleep is big business, and a sleep center can be a great business opportunity, but like any business, it requires proper management to be a success.   

 If you are, or are planning on, operating a sleep center then you know you must have some kind of management software – but what are some of the “must haves” within that solution? With the business of sleep expanding, and the industry becoming more and more competitive, proper practice management can be the key to success. Automation is a requirement for smooth and efficient operations, but with so many choices out there with a broad range of healthcare IT (HIT) features and an equally broad range of costs, what specifications do you really need, and what are just unnecessary “bells and whistles?”

 Why do I Even Need a Management Solution?

A sleep center is a uniquely complex medical facility. You want any software you are looking at to be able to perform the functions necessary to manage the intricate daily operations of a sleep center, from Electronic Medical Records to support for insurance claims submissions to carriers.

 What should it Do?

First and foremost what you want your management solution to do is help you to run your sleep center more efficiently and enhance productivity across the board. That means you want a robust system that will allow everyone within your operation, as well as any of your referring and/or reading physicians to access the data they need wherever and whenever they need to. So that means your software needs to provide:

  • An interface for interpreting sleep physicians
  • An interface for sleep technologists
  • An interface for patient scheduling tasks.
  • A portal for referring physicians to track progress
  • A way to manage EMRs and internal messaging system tasks
  • A way to monitor the overall business

 It goes without saying that any solution that you deploy must be secure, standards based, and one that meets all regulatory requirements. But beyond that, you want to look for a solution that is turnkey and will provide you with the highest quality and most cost effective return on your investment as possible. At the very least your solution should be able to:

  • Deliver all workflow tasks to the in-box of all physicians and technicians
  • Provide, or be compatible with your EMR solution
  • Support medical coding and billing
  • Provide physicians with online interpretation, and composition with full editing & electronic signature capabilities
  • Provide physicians and staff with access to historical reports for all patients for at least seven years
  • Give all staff technicians access to patient & lab schedules
  • Have simple forms to collect patient information, medical history, and all sleep data
  • Have the ability to backup up all data of raw sleep studies
  • Provides techs with secure access to raw sleep studies from anywhere for scoring
  • Be able to manage and backup all scored studies & reports 

 What Else Should it Do?

In addition to the above features you may want your practice management software to also be able to help in your marketing efforts, and patient compliance, scheduling and communications tasks. That means it should include features such as:

  • An integrated referring physicians database
  • The ability to provide marketing reports, industry trends, and outlooks
  • Provide real time notifications, alerts and reminders
  • Use online order forms for required Durable Medical Equipment
  • Provide for integration and online collaboration with Home Care companies
  • Handle all aspects of patient scheduling and resource allocation
  • Provide a secure portal for patients, with notification and secure communication facilities

 There is one solution that more and more sleep centers are implementing that provides all of the above and more -- Indigo Arc's Sleep Lab Management Platform, (SLaM). SLaM integrates all aspects of practice management, and has all of the advantages of being delivered to you as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution deployed in the Cloud, which means no need for you to invest in servers, or costly IT infrastructure, or even software licenses – you merely pay for the services you use!  

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