We want your home sleep test to run as smoothly as possible, when completed correctly the test should be a quick and painless experience. (And literal pain is never experienced!) We polled our staff for the top issues they encounter when administering a home sleep test and here’s what they said.
Before the test
Easy Mistake 1: Missing phone calls
If we can’t reach you for insurance verification or scheduling then there will be an overall delay in getting your home sleep test results back to your physician. We want to communicate in the way that is most convenient to you, outside of phone calls here are ways you can reach us:
Easy Mistake 2: Forgetting to be home for delivery
If your device is being delivered by a local HST America respiratory therapist, you’ll receive a reminder call the day before delivery to confirm the time and location. If your device is being delivered by mail, you’ll need to be home to sign for it. We can ship or meet you in a variety of locations, let us know during your scheduling call and we’ll do our best to ensure delivery does not interrupt your work and life responsibilities.
During the test
Easy Mistake 3: Incomplete paperwork
The device is delivered with a Sleep Health Survey for you to fill out at the time of the home sleep test. We know it’s a little long, but all sections need to be complete as the sleep physician needs this information to provide an accurate diagnosis. If any sections are incomplete or the signature is missing we will need to get in touch with you again, which is a bother to you and draws out the amount of time taken to get results back to your doctor.
Easy Mistake 4: Leaving sensor covers on
There are three sensors on the device, a rectangular black forehead sensor and two white round electrodes that sit on the temples. Most usually remember to take the white covers off as they are bright and obvious. However, the clear forehead sensor cover is often left on accidentally. If this happens, the device cannot record a full set of data and the test will be invalidated – requiring a retest.
Additional tip about sensor covers – when you take them off the first night, don’t throw them away! Keep them on your bedside table to stick back on for protection before your second night of testing.
Easy Mistake 5: Sleeping in the same room as someone who snores
One of the methods the home sleep test device uses to record snoring levels is a microphone – if your bed partner is loud enough, their snores may be recorded as your own! If this is the case, we suggest you politely ask your partner to sleep in the guest room or on the couch for two nights so you can get an accurate reading.
Easy Mistake 6: Ladies, leaving makeup on
Many styles of foundation make-up are oil-based and leave a residue. If this is not completely washed off prior to testing, the sensors will not adhere properly to the skin which increases the chance of the unit falling off during sleep. We recommend cleaning the forehead with a washcloth and cleanser, allowing time for moisturizer to dry before putting on the device.
Easy Mistake 7: Taking the device off during the night
While not an instant invalidation, if you take the device off during the night there is a much higher chance of an error occurring than when it is left on without disruption. If you need to get up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water, it is fine to leave on your forehead and move about as normal. The interpreting physician will recognise you are awake during these periods without issue.
Easy Mistake 8: Wearing the device for less than four hours per night
To make a diagnosis, we need a minimum of four hours of recorded data for each of the two nights. If you are a shift worker with a split sleeping schedule you may need to take this into account and book your test for your off nights. Seven hours of data for each of the two nights is ideal.
Easy Mistake 9: Not contacting us if you need to reschedule or delay
The testing units retail for $3,500 each, and as such we need to have a strict return policy with penalties to ensure they make it back to us after the test. However, we have never charged a late fee to someone who has called us and explained why they need a few extra days. In one case a patient was scheduled to take their test on New Year’s Eve but couldn’t make it happen – we understand things come up!
After the test
Easy Mistake 10: Taking extra days to return the home sleep test
This is mostly relevant to patients receiving delivery by mail, who may find it difficult to drop the return package off the day immediately following the test. We try to make this as easy as possible and look up your local area to see if FedEx or USPS is closer to you. In some situations we can organize a physical pickup from your home or office, if you expect there to be a delay in returning the device please let us know by phone (702) 389-4935 or email email@example.com so we can keep your doctor informed of any delay.