During the coronavirus pandemic, the need for telehealth and telemedicine has become clear. Atlanta based, FusionSleep is one of many sleep centers that have turned to home sleep testing and telehealth to keep their doors open to patients during the times of COVID-19. Using the Nox T3 home sleep testing device and pairing it with a video conferencing solution and an EHR system, FusionSleep managed to shift its operations from performing traditional in-lab sleep studies to home sleep testing in only four days. Shawn Roberts, VP of Operations at FusionSleep explains the transformation process and the results of using Nox T3 in telehealth.
FusionSleep operates two sleep centers in the Atlanta area. The centers have a total of 12 beds in addition to the sleep clinic offering physician appointments and treatment services. The company has years of experience using the Nox T3 for home sleep studies and had just recently started using the Nox A1 PSG System for in-lab testing, before having to shut down their lab and clinic operation due to COVID-19.
The Transformation from In-Lab Studies to HST
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-lab testing was suddenly no longer possible, leaving home sleep testing as the only available sleep test. The need to shift from traditional in-lab testing towards home sleep testing was not new, but now the transition was total. Additionally, the only option to provide clinic appointments became via telehealth.
“Payers helped facilitate the implementation by taking down a barrier by removing the patient’s co-payment, making it easier for patients to see their physicians through telehealth platforms” Ms. Roberts explains.
According to Ms. Roberts, another barrier removed was the ability for patients to see previous “out of network” providers at “in network” rates. The latter being the most meaningful in their experience.
FusionSleep uses the Nox T3 as their HST device and CareCloud as an EHR System along with a third party video conferencing solution to meet up with patients.
Due to the swift change of circumstances, FusionSleep had to move fast.
“In only four days, FusionSleep went from operating normal face-to-face clinical evaluations and in-lab studies to HSTs with the Nox T3, utilizing telehealth to meet with patients” Ms. Roberts said.
According to Ms. Roberts, the medical assistants have now taken on more tech-support focused roles and full-time sleep techs have now transitioned to scoring HSTs, disinfecting and shipping the devices, PAP Set up, and admin work in PAP Care Management and Billing Departments.
Not only did FusionSleep have to move fast, but also rely heavily on the quality of the signals gathered by the HST devices used. This is where the Nox T3 has proven its worth as a more comprehensive diagnostic tool.
Ms. Roberts attributes FusionSleep’s successful implementation of telehealth, to the quality of the diagnostic tool being used and highly skilled staff who have quickly adapted to new procedures in performing sleep studies.
“The main benefit of all this, using the Nox T3, is the fact that the quality of care remains the same with this platform. A combination of highly qualified staff and high-quality diagnostic devices have helped maintain a high standard of care.”
According to Ms. Roberts, after COVID-19, FusionSleep will remain a telehealth provider serving broader geography than before, as telehealth has proven to be a very cost-effective way of providing care to patients.
She believes patients are benefiting from using telemedicine and explains how therapy setups have increased substantially during the pandemic.
“In addition, therapy setups have increased very much during the pandemic, with the use of telemedicine” Ms. Roberts explains.
Ms. Roberts says that possible reasons for the increases in therapy setups may be the flexibility that virtual appointments allow, but also the emphasis of good respiratory health, now more than ever.
Nox Products in Telehealth
Nox products, including the Nox T3 and Nox A1 may be used in telehealth settings by sleep professionals, when paired with a HIPAA-compliant video conference solution. The Nox T3 home sleep testing device is thoughtfully designed for safe and hygienic operation offering disposable RIP belts and filtered nasal cannula, while providing high signal quality. With thousands of units being sold globally, the Nox T3 is able to balance and incorporate a simple system that is both cost-effective and provides accurate results.
Now available to providers in the U.S., the Nox A1 PSG System, is built with the same ambulatory hardware foundation as the Nox T3 but comes with increased versatility. This powerful in-lab PSG sleep diagnostic device is able to perform level I, level II, and level III sleep studies. With the dual purpose, the Nox A1 can also be used in ambulatory settings in the patient’s home. This allows a sleep center that traditionally does in-lab sleep studies, to keep providing high standards of care by moving towards home based sleep testing using the same device.
For more information on FusionSleep’s success using the Nox T3 in telehealth please contact us here.
Nox Medical and FusionSleep have collaborated for years on improving sleep diagnostics.
Topic: Industry News