Are Scoring Sleep Techs No Longer Needed?

The new Out of Center Sleep Testing (OCST) in Adult Patients AASM Accreditation requirements were recently released. Although it does contain some very practical requirements for an entity wishing to be an AASM Accredited provider of OCST, it also contains some requirements (or some say, lack of requirements) when it comes to who will be scoring these recordings.

Of concern to many ’s is the lack of reference to the credential anywhere in the document. In B-9 it does specify that CPSGT’s and other “non-specified” board or sleep certifications are “appropriate” to score OCST recordings. Also mentioned are holders of the respiratory “SDS” endorsement. Perhaps omitting the “RPSGT” credential is just an oversight by the AASM?

Furthering the controversy is F-4 which provides a pathway to exclude all scoring techs, regardless of credential, from scoring OCST recordings.

Below are paragraphs from the newly released standards. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? Post a comment here

Standards for Accreditation of

Out of Center Sleep Testing (OCST) in Adult Patients

B-9–Scoring Personnel

Appropriate scoring technical personnel include sleep technicians, sleep technicians with the CPSGT certification or other board approved (non-specified boars) certifications, sleep technologists, respiratory therapists with the sleep disorders specialist (SDS) certification, or electroneurodiagnostic technicians with additional sleep certification.

F-4–Computer-assisted Scoring

If used, computer-assisted scoring of OCST recordings must be reviewed and edited for accuracy by a board certified sleep physician.

Here is the link to read the entire OCST Standards:http://www.aasmnet.org/resources/pdf/OCSTstandards.pdf

I know that there are many opinions about the validity of doing OCST recordings. This editorial does not focus on that controversy. We will leave that for another day. However, many of the sleep professionals that have contacted me are very concerned that there is no mention of the RPSGT credential in the acceditation requirements and the seemingling acceptance of auto scoring. Combine this with the recent announcement that there will soon be a fourth (RPSGT + CPSGT + Respiratory SDS + new ABSM) tech sleep credential and many RPSGT’s are feeling threatened by these recent events.

Many are asking “where is the AAST in all this?” I have begun to hear rumblings from many techs that feel they have wasted their $100 annual dues for representation they feel is not happening. I dont have an answer for you. Each RPSGT, CPSGT, and sleep professional needs to come to their own conclusions about the direction that our field is moving in. As an editorial writter I would very much like to hear from you.

In order to be properly represented you need to make your desires known. Staying silent whether against or in favor of any position does not send a clear message to those we pay to represent us.

No matter what your indivdual thoughts are, the industry deserves to hear from you. Let your thoughts be known to those that care to listen Join the discussion on the Sleep Scholar Linkedin site

 

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

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