Founded in September 2008, Whitney Sleep Diagnostics was created to meet the sleep medicine needs of hospitals that lack the resources to provide their own sleep program. Dr Courtney Whitney DO, is an Internal Medicine Physician who became Board Certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine in 2005.
In 2004, Dr Whitney opened the Whitney Sleep Center, a four bed sleep center in Plymouth, MN. Over the years he had met with enough patients who had been tested for a sleep disorder in the rural market to realize that there is a significant drop off in patient care and follow up in the contract sleep market. Put simply, hospitals that contract their sleep medicine program, utilize a model that leads to the patient being underserved.
The traditional rural sleep model involved a local physician referring a patient for a sleep study. Then the sleep contractor would come on site and conduct the overnight study. That data would be scored and sent to an outside physician for interpretation and completion of the sleep report. The sleep report then went back to the referring Physician who may or may not be comfortable discussing sleep disorders and initiating / following a Patient’s therapy. CPAP equipment was handled either by the Hospital or by a local DME company. This has been the accepted model for hundreds of Hospitals nationwide.
With the knowledge of how a patient is treated in his Center, and how underserved the rural market has been, Dr Whitney developed a model that represents the most comprehensive contracted sleep offering available. By utilizing TeleMedicine, Dr Whitney and his associates are able to follow up with the patient, and even allow the patient to see important data about how they slept during their study. Being able to see the impact of apneas on the patient’s heart results in higher than average CPAP compliance.
Speaking of CPAP, when we come on site to initiate the TeleMedicine follow up, the tech that comes out will be able to set up the Patient on CPAP (after documenting that patient has been informed of right to choose) and let them try on as many mask styles as needed to get the proper fit. The patient will also be shown how to care for and maintain their CPAP which also leads to greater CPAP compliance.
We currently provide sleep medicine services to 50 Hospitals in the upper midwest. For some sites, we are their first exposure to a sleep program, others have switched from another contractor. Those who have experienced the traditional way as well as the Whitney way, will tell you the difference is significant.
Other sleep contractors simply tell you that the patient has a sleep disorder—we do something about it.