Obstructive Sleep Apnea CPAP get smart fast

Disclaimer: These peer coaching articles describe what some savvy, successful CPAP users have done to make their treatment successful. Not written by healthcare professionals. The information and opinions may not necessarily be correct or helpful for you and your unique needs. Rely on sound, well informed medical advice from your doctors and other healthcare professionals well versed in treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

Location: United States

IF I ONLY KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW! Blog Purpose: To help you with your CPAP therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). For those with OSA, family, friends, physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, sleep technicians. Why This Came to Be: I didn’t have the information I needed for successful CPAP treatment when I needed it. A kind sleep lab technician with OSA told me about a web site he had heard about from another patient, www.cpaptalk.com. The rest is history. It took me months of reading hundreds of posts to gather the information I needed while suffering through equipment struggles. Not everyone has that time or wants to struggle needlessly. I wrote up my own experience and advice from the collective wisdom of experienced CPAP users on cpaptalk.com. Thanks to them, my treatment is working. I’m not sure I could have done it without them. The online CPAP equipment store www.cpap.com created cpaptalk.com. I appreciate what they are giving back to the CPAP community through their website forum, as well as their fair prices. NOBODY IS AS SMART AS EVERYBODY! To email me, send a private message to Mile High Sleeper at www.cpaptalk.com.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Preventing and Reporting Errors in Your Care

For people with sleep apnea and for their healthcare professionals, peer coaching article #20, updated 3 December 2011

Patient safety resources
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
To prevent errors in your CPAP treatment, do not blindly trust the actions of healthcare professionals. 1) Become informed about your treatment. Good places to learn about CPAP are the articles and links in this blog. 2) Check that your physician/ physician assistant/ nurse, respiratory therapist, Durable Medical Equipment provider are doing the right things for your personalized, effective treatment, including providing the correct equipment (machine, masks, etc.)

Many Durable Medical Equipment (DME) or Home Medical Equipment companies, especially large national DMEs and hospitals in the US, and some international healthcare organizations, are evaluated and accredited by The Joint Commission, (The organization was formerly known as JCAHO, pronounced “Jayco”, the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Now it’s called “The Joint Commission.”) The Joint Commission offers free online videos and pamphlets at http://www.jointcommission.org/general_public.aspx

A useful book is You: The Smart Patient by Dr. Mike Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Reporting a legitimate complaint
Do I have a moral obligation to report this poor treatment?

"Right is might."

1. To your doctor
Your doctor is managing your care from a medical perspective. If your complaint is about poor treatment that has or could affect your health or other patients, for example, the respiratory therapist making a prescription error in setting up your CPAP machine, consider informing your doctor. He/she may not take action, but may advise you about possible actions you could take.

2. To The Joint Commission
If you receive substandard quality of treatment care from a DME (or hospital), the problem is twofold: what happened to you, and possible harm to other patients if you don’t report it and the problem goes unacknowledged and uncorrected by the DME. Consider fining a complaint with The Joint Commission, which uses information to strengthen its oversight of DMEs and improve the quality of care. Although you may remain anonymous, it may be more responsible to give your name. For information about the complaint process, see http://www.jointcommission.org/report_a_complaint.aspx

To submit a new complaint online, go to

E-mail: complaint@jointcommission.org
Fax:  630-792-5636
Mail: Office of Quality Monitoring
         The Joint Commission
         One Renaissance Boulevard
         Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois  60181
E-Mail: complaint@jointcommission.org

Be sure to read Report a Complaint at http://www.jointcommission.org/report_a_complaint.aspx before submitting a complaint.

3. To the DME
Working directly with the DME is the most important action. Find out a little about the DME’s organizational structure or chain of command by asking them how they are structured. Then set up a face-to-face meeting with the DME, or phone, or email or write. Work above the organizational level at which the problem occurred, and go up the chain of command if you think it’s useful, in talks or by copying others in correspondence. For example, if the problem occurred with the respiratory therapist, talk to the lead RT/supervisor, and branch manager or regional manager. If the problem occurred in customer service, talk with the customer service manager. If the problem is serious and appears to be organization-wide, such as a lack of quality and safety procedures potentially resulting in harm to the patient, write to the president and copy the regional manager.

Be courteous, professional, assertive, factual rather than accusatory, and document your facts. Provide details and evidence from your notes, software reports, prescription, orders, or billing about what happened when, with whom. Tell them the consequences of their error; actual consequences that you experienced, or potential consequences or harm to yourself and other patients if the problem continues. Let the DME know you informed your doctor and filed a complaint with The Joint Commission. Ask the DME to respond to you about what corrective action they plan to take, with you and to prevent the same problem happening with other patients, locally, regionally, and in the organization as a whole. Let them know you will relay the follow-up information to your doctor and insurance company.

4. To your insurance company
The DME contracts with and is paid by your insurance company. Consider using the insurance company’s complaint process to report the DME.

Be a champion for good. Each voice counts, whether or not you see immediate results.

Sources: Based on personal experience with obstructive sleep apnea and gleaned from the collective wisdom of cpaptalk.com contributors.

Want more? See the peer coaching articles at http://smart-sleep-apnea.blogspot.com , http://www.cpap.com FAQ Learning Center, or search http://www.cpaptalk.com or post a message there.

Not written by healthcare professionals. The information and opinions offered are not intended or recommended as a substitute for professional medical advice.

© Mile High Sleeper, August 2006 - 2011. All rights reserved. You may make copies of this message and distribute in any media for free educational purposes, as long as you credit the author and include this copyright notice and the web address smart-sleep-apnea dot blogspot dot com

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