Clinic Vs. Lab Fact Sheet
Difference Between a Sleep Clinic and a Sleep Lab
- Sleep facility refers to a sleep center that comprise both a clinic, where patients are evaluated, and management occurs and a laboratory where the diagnostic testing is administered through in-center and home sleep apnea testing (HSAT).
- The sleep clinic is an outpatient location where patients with sleep disorders pursue evaluation and treatment; arrange diagnostic testing, and where patient management and follow up care is provided by professional staff. The location can be within the sleep facility, or in a separate off-site physical location.
- A sleep lab is the location is which diagnostic testing is performed; either in-center testing or home sleep apnea testing.
Access to data:
- If the clinic and lab are in the same location, access to medical record information may be more feasible through the same patient database or Electronic Medical Record (EMR).
- For labs and clinics in separate physical locations without access to the same database; data is required to be reported as one entity; information will be separately maintained and collectively totaled at time of the submission of the application.
Data required to be reported:
- Number of patients seen by professional sleep facility staff members (sleep clinic staff).
- Number of patients seen by direct referral (sleep lab).
- Number of Sleep Diagnoses using the most current edition of the ICSD (sleep clinic and sleep lab).
- Number of all sleep studies—PSG, MSLT, MWT and HSAT (using the most current codes).
Strategies that may be utilized to gain access to data for clinics and lab that are separate:
- Obtain a Business Associate Agreement to address sharing of PHI.
- The clinic can maintain the QA Clinical Outcome and Process measures and report the summary results to the lab for inclusion in the quarterly QA report.
Key Things to Keep In Mind
- The sleep clinic and associated lab are to have an affiliation/relationship whether formal or informal to allow for access of information.
- Cumulative statistics submitted in the application should apply to the applicant facility/program only.
- For clinics and sleep labs that share a data base and EMR; gather the required data and submit.
- For clinics and sleep labs that do not share a data base without direct access; the same statistics are required, the clinic may submit their required data to the sleep facility to total and include in the application for accreditation.
- When submitting the application for accreditation, the patient volume form is to include the cumulative statistics and diagnosis for all patients seen; (statistics are required totaled for the 6 months prior to completion of the application):
- By all sleep professional staff members.
- All direct referrals.
- Include those patients that had a sleep study and those that did not require a sleep study.
- Patients seen in the clinic by the sleep facility professional staff members, as well as, those patients tested in the lab.
- For clinics and labs in separate locations without direct access:
- There must be a method of how the sleep facility gets information on PAP assessment/compliance to ensure standard H-2 is met.
- There must be a method of data collection for QA reporting on the Clinical Outcome and Process metrics.
- Regardless of the location for the clinic (i.e. within the center, or in a physician’s separate office), it is still considered part of the sleep facility and must provide information required for the sleep facility as a whole to meet all accreditation standards.
- Standards do not specify the location where medical records are maintained; however, all must be accessible by the sleep facility as a whole.
- If separate medical records are maintained at the sleep clinic and separate medical records are maintained at the sleep lab; at time of the site visit both will be reviewed and considered as one whole comprehensive medical record.