The capacity will grow, the location will change and the accommodations will be more pleasant. These are the main changes in the works for the Sleep/Wake Disorders Center at Central Kansas Medical Center.
“We currently offer sleep studies three or four nights per week,” said Brandi Gruber, director of cardiopulmonary services. “But with our upcoming expansion, that will change to six nights a week.
“This will offer us more flexibility in scheduling and shorter waiting times for patients,” Gruber noted. “In addition, we will have one handicapped-accessible restroom and showers for each room for patients’ use the morning after their sleep studies.”
The center, which is now located on CKMC’s third floor, will relocate to the second floor. The expansion should be completed by late July, a few months after CKMC’s name changes to St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center.
“Our professional staff will continue to be here for patients with sleep disorders,” Gruber said. “All of us are excited to be able to offer our services to more people on more days of the week.”
Once the expansion is complete, the center’s capability will increase from an average of 24 patients per month to 36 per month. An additional sleep technician will be hired.
“Anyone who is not getting quality sleep is a good candidate for our sleep studies,” Gruber commented. “If you don’t get the proper rest, it can be difficult to concentrate and keep up with daily activities.
“Left untreated, sleep disorders can cause high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and motor vehicle accidents,” the cardiopulmonary services director added. “There is an overall decrease in the quality of life.”
A patient’s family is often a good source of information about a loved one’s sleep habits. For example, family members may notice excessive snoring, breathing cessation and general restlessness.
“We can study the sleep habits of patients who spend the night in our center,” Gruber noted. “Sleep apnea, which causes breathing to stop during sleep, is one of the more common reasons patients seek help. Others are sleep disturbance related to night-shift work and restless leg syndrome.”
Sometimes medications are prescribed and other times the use of a nighttime CPAP device is the answer. The acronym stands for continuous positive airway pressure.
CKMC’s sleep center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and will continue to be.
“The AASM is the gold standard to ensure the highest quality of medical care,” Gruber said. “The academy considers almost 60 items in determining accreditation, including every policy and procedure, and the credentials of our professional staff.”
Steven Ronsick, M.D., the center’s medical director, is based at the Hutchinson Clinic; he has been traveling to CKMC on a regular basis for five years.
A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Dr. Ronsick completed his residency in internal medicine. He is the only area physician who is board certified in sleep medicine.
In addition, Dr. Ronsick is a Fellow in pulmonary and critical care, a Diplomat of the American Board of Medical Specialties and a Fellow in the American College of Chest Physicians. He sees about 60 sleep-disorder and pulmonary patients per month in Great Bend.