You’ve taken classes, attended seminars, webinars and online courses, but still you struggle to implement a dental sleep medicine program at your practice. I speak with dentists across the country every day and I see them failing at sleep, usually for one of these 7 reasons:
No sleep ambassador
The sleep ambassador is a key position in any practice treating sleep apnea. They manage the patient progress, ensuring team members get the information they need to play their own roles. Without a sleep ambassador, patients will fall through the cracks, miss milestones and decline treatment. The right person with the proper training is key to success in sleep.
The team doesn’t know what to do
Too often dentists don’t have the time, skills or materials to effectively train a whole team on sleep, resulting in poor teamwork and missed opportunities. Success requires real world techniques for integrating sleep medicine into a busy dental practice.
No buy-in from team
Your team must believe in dental sleep medicine, because the moment you leave the room the patient will ask them. If your team is not on board, patients won’t agree to testing or treatment. Buy in from the team is key to success in sleep.
1 in 5 adults have a sleep related breathing disorder, but how many pass through your practice each day without being screened? Inconsistent screening is often because team members are too busy, forget to ask, or resist changing their normal routine. Reaching every patient in need requires integrating screening into the daily routine of the practice.
Poor case presentation
You have a diagnosis from a board certified sleep physician indicating they are an ideal candidate for oral appliance therapy – but you present the case and they decline treatment. How many patients like this have walked out of your practice? Failure to properly present the case for treatment can derail treatment at a critical juncture.
Problems with medical billing
Medical billing can be frustrating. Different systems and processes can make getting paid difficult, confusing and unpredictable. Don’t become frustrated and decide it’s not worth dealing with.
Lack of physician relationships
Physician referrals are key to every dental sleep practice, but building a solid referral network takes both time and effort. Just like case presentation, there is a right way to go about it. How are you building your network?
How many of these affect your practice? If you are struggling with sleep, examine your practice for these common pitfalls. Recognizing the problem is the first step towards fixing it.
Brett Brocki is the founder and CEO of N3Sleep and DreamSleep.