Umbian Inc, a ResMed company and provider of cloud-based healthcare compliance solutions, released study results this week that show measurable efficiency gains when using the automated messaging capabilities of its U-Sleep compliance management solution.
The study, funded by ResMed, revealed a 59% reduction in labor associated with intervening with and coaching patients on CPAP therapy when using U-Sleep. The study was presented this week at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2014 International Conference in San Diego by lead investigator Dominic Munafo, MD, DABSM, medical director, Sleep Data Inc, and was supported by Umbian and ResMed.
“This is an opportunity for home medical equipment (HME) providers to redesign the way they interact with patients to improve efficiency, and therefore their bottom line,” said Raj Sodhi, president of Umbian. “Every HME is under pressure to minimize the costs associated with gaining compliance, and these findings show that U-Sleep’s automated messaging can help significantly.”
The goal of the study was to compare the effectiveness and coaching labor requirements of a web-based, automated messaging (via U-Sleep) with standard-of-care CPAP adherence coaching, and measure the coaching labor necessary to achieve Medicare-defined adherence. A secure and flexible compliance solution, U-Sleep monitors CPAP device usage and helps HMEs coach and manage their patients during therapy.
To evaluate the effect of automated messaging on coaching labor and patient adherence, researchers conducted a multi-center, prospective trial of patients newly diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. A total of 122 patients completed the three-month study follow-up, with 58 in the U-Sleep arm and 64 in the standard-of-care arm. All patients were set up on a CPAP device with heated humidification and a ResMed wireless modem, and both groups received identical CPAP education and orientation.
The U-Sleep arm received an automated series of text messages and/or emails triggered by one of five situations that indicated non-compliance, such as No CPAP data for two consecutive days or CPAP usage of less than four hours for three consecutive nights. In contrast, the standard-of-care arm received scheduled telephone calls on days one, seven, 14, and 30.
Reducing Labor while Increasing Compliance
The results of the study reveal a significant reduction in the mean number of minutes of adherence coaching required per patient for the U-Sleep arm, equating to a 59 percent reduction in labor. In addition, there was an observed difference of +10 percent in Medicare-defined adherence for the U-Sleep group (83 vs. 73 percent). Medicare-defined adherence is the documented use of CPAP therapy for at least four hours per night for 70 percent or more nights during a consecutive 30-day period within the first 90 days of therapy.
As the number of people using CPAP therapy to treat sleep apnea increases, the ability to efficiently and effectively monitor and manage CPAP therapy becomes a critical aspect of healthcare.
“Scaling to meet the growing sleep apnea patient base requires new ways of thinking for HMEs,” said Sodhi. “Using automated messaging technology to keep patients on track with therapy has the potential to increase an HME’s patient base capacity, and improve a growing number of lives.”
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