If you are reading this magazine, or attending the Dental Sleep Medicine Symposium, you know that there is a lot to learn about dental sleep medicine.
But where to start? In this article, I will cover three areas; sleep education, physician expectations and selecting a sleep practice management company.
Who needs the education? What do they need to learn? What is the best way for them to learn?
You and your team need sleep medicine training. Your hygienist and office team are the frontline; able to discuss, educate, and assess the sleep quality of your patients. They must be trained in sleep.
The right mix of sleep education content is essential. Knowing how to answer when a physician asks, “What do you know about sleep?” can make or break whether they decide to work with you. You need grounding in the practical techniques but also the medical background of the conditions and interventions.
What is the best learning vehicle for your practice? It needs to be convenient, comprehensive, reasonable, and friendly to the adult learner. Is it cumbersome, full of unreasonable requirements and ridiculous rules? There are four basic educational delivery types:
- Intensive Courses
- In-office training
Another important consideration is how you select a sleep practice management company. What should you be looking for services? How do you know they can deliver what they say? How do I vet a vendor? How do I protect my investment? How do I compare one company to another? I don’t have the space to answer all of those questions here, but my colleague Lee Lee A. Surkin, MD and I will cover all of these questions and more during our seminar at the Dental Sleep Medicine Symposium in Clearwater, FL February 16-17, 2018.
These are just some of the considerations you should keep in mind as you continue your journey in dental sleep medicine. You will probably engage with a combination of these methods as the needs of your practice evolve. Embrace the spirit of continuing education, the more you learn – the better you will be able to help your patients.
Michael J. Krahe, PhD is the founder of the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines (ACSDD) and the Senior Vice President of Operations for DreamSleep.