There are several sleep study scoring services that offer outsource sleep study services for polysomnogram and home sleep tests (HST) and often offer sleep physician interpretations.
Because the data is compressible and easily transferable, sleep studies may be sent from a sleep center or laboratory to a sleep tech in a different part of the world. The sleep study data is sent and reviewed by a sleep technologist (RPSGT or RST) and a sleep doctor. They are usually contracted for outsource sleep center services.
About the Sleep Study Scoring service Data
The data in a typical sleep study includes electroencephalogram for brain waves (EEG), electrooculogram for eye movements (EOG), electromyogram for muscle activity (EMG), electrocardiogram – for heart (EKG), snore sounds, airflow, respiratory effort movements, and oxygenation from an oxymetry probe on a finger. Often audio and video is collected as well.
There are a few professional sleep physician and technologist services that specialize in the outsource interpretation and sleep scoring of sleep studies.
After this data is collected on a patient, the data is reviewed page-by-page by a technologist who will score, or tabulate, all of this data into organized packets of clinical information.
After sleep study scoring is completed by the sleep tech, it will be sent to a sleep physician who will re-review this data and scored tech report and issue an interpretation of the sleep study, and often recommendations.
The sleep physician’s report will then be sent back to the referring clinician who will present the findings to the patient. Treatment options are often discussed as well depending on the outsourcing plan.
There are several methods that are used for the transfer of data from a sleep center to a sleep tech for sleep study scoring services. A common technique is File Transfer Protocol (FTP). This allow for encrypted data transfer of sleep studies from one computer to another.
How to find a good sleep study scoring service
When looking for a sleep study scoring service, it is important to check that the people who will be reviewing your data are professionals in the sleep field. The people scoring the sleep files should be registered sleep technologists (RST) or registered polysomnographic technologists (RPSGT). These credentials show that the professional has undergone sleep technology training and has met certain standards.
It is also recommended that you get references from the prospective sleep study scoring service. Find other sleep centers that have used these services and get their feedback.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sleep Study Scoring Services
How much do sleep study scoring services charge? This depends on the several variables, including volume of studies per month, type of software, and other services provided. Many professional sleep scorers charge around $30 – $50 per sleep study for the scored data. Many sleep physicians charge $100 – $140 to interpret sleep studies. The cost to interpret home sleep studies is usually less.
Are computerized auto-scoring services as good as human-scoring sleep study scoring services? This is a very new technology that is being studies now. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612255/
How long does it take to score sleep studies? This also depends on several factors which include backlog amount, type of equipment, type of internet connection, and contract stipulations. Many sleep techs score studies within a few days of receiving the study.
Just as sleep study scoring has evolved over the past decade, so have sleep study scoring services.