Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

July 8, 2013

Hospital sleep studies a real bright spot

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — Benefits of a long term solution to the woes that have plagued Pauls Valley General Hospital over the past several years may yet need more time in the current early stages, but this hasn’t slowed down all avenues to make the facility a unique medical destination.

Proving to be one of the most positive examples since it was put into place a little over six months ago is a sleep study interpretation program, something that is meeting a need at a level those connected to the hospital never expected.

Primarily put in place to help those with treatment options for sleep disorders, PVGH CEO Bridget Cosby is impressed with the work performed by technicians Michael Boger MD and Salman Zubair MD.

“It’s not a huge revenue source, but it is positive,” said Cosby noting how the impact is admittedly not as large as some of the other revenue sources, but still looks to be something where the sky is the limit down the road.

“A lot of people have issues trying to sleep.”

It’s all made possible through a mobile medical unit via the hospital’s managing partner St. Anthony, which at the moment visits on a weekly basis every Friday through three rooms set aside for the project, said Cosby.

While technicians operate in one of those rooms, one patient each goes into the other rooms, set up not too much different than a hotel room where they are monitored to discover what may be giving them problems sleeping.

The patients basically stay overnight during the monitoring process and if need be, are sent home with treatment devices to help them continue treatment from there.

However, how successful it is ultimately depends on if patients follow the directions of the doctor, which has so far shown results to be proud of.

“It’s a good service if people are compliant,” said Cosby.

One of the biggest bonuses is that a majority of the patients using the service are from Garvin County or at least seek treatment from staff connected to PVGH, said Cosby. It has resulted in the study being full enough ahead of time to need a waiting list and proof that the demand won’t be going away any time soon.

Other areas of the hospital benefiting are those like lab services and wound care, which Dr. Tammy Hicks took over with the departure of Dr. Charles H. Mitchell, since those areas often correlate, said Cosby.

There is even a chance of more nights in the future, though the next move right now will be changing it to Thursdays and Fridays every other week in order to help those who might not be able to do the study on just a Friday.

“All of our referrals have been from our current medical staff,” said Cosby.

“Ever since we started this we’ve been full. Right now we stay booked three nights out... if that builds we’ll consider adding more nights.”