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Somnologists make the difference

What is more important than a good night’s sleep? When you or your child is confronted with a serious, complex and/or rare sleeping disorder, you can call on the specialists at the Center for Sleep Medicine are at Kempenhaeghe.

Our specialist scan provide clarity about the cause of the sleeping disorder. The Center for Sleep Medicine particularly focuses on patients whose sleeping disorder can insufficiently or not at all be explained or controlled, and on patients who need a specific treatment. Our somnologists are also ready to help you with a combination of illnesses or disorders. In addition, they also work with patients who require a specific approach, such as young children or people with a mental disability.

Your specialist or family doctor can make a referral to Kempenhaeghe. As soon as the situation has been stabilized, you will usually be referred back to the practitioner in your own region.

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In the Center for Sleep Medicine in Kempenhaeghe, the best specialists work together in teams: (pediatric)neurologists, pulmonologists, pediatricians, doctors for people with an intellectual disability, behavioral scientists and clinical nurses. They have at their disposal extensive know-how of their own field of expertise and specific expertise of sleeping disorders. They are certified somnologist, a European qualification acknowledging their competence in sleep medicine.

Using high-quality examination facilities and the latest treatment methods, they can help you to sleep better and – eventually - function better in daily life. Extra facilities cater to the needs of children and people with an intellectual disability.

As the largest multidisciplinary sleep center in the Netherlands, our in-house expertise encompasses the full scope of sleep medicine, from neurological sleeping disorders and breathing-dependent sleeping disorders to complex insomnia and sleep rhythm disorders. Our services are based on years of experience and research; they are all at your disposal, for you or your child are always at the central stage.

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Clarifying the diagnosis

Dealing with your complaints always starts with a precise diagnosis: what is the problem and what is the cause? Part of the patients referred to us already have a diagnosis. For others, obtaining a diagnosis was unsuccessful. All patients have in common that their sleeping complaints are out of control and impact their wellbeing to a great extent.

Previous to the first consult in Kempenhaeghe, patients are asked to fill out a sleep questionnaire and/or a sleep-wake calendar. With your permission we also look at the results of previous examinations. If necessary, we contact the doctor who referred you to us. We take the time to thoroughly listen to your story. As you are unable to observe what happens during your sleep, your partner’s information – or, in the case of a child, the parents’ information – is also valuable.

Together we determine which care program best fits your complaints. A care program consists of one or more consults and/or examinations and, if required, treatment. How often and how long you shall come to Kempenhaeghe depends on your problems and your situation.

What is your complaint?
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Types of examinations

To correctly diagnose a problem, most people will get some type of sleeping examination. These can vary in time and length. Your specialist will explain which examination of combination of examinations best fits your situation.

Most sleep examinations require you to stay at our centers in Heeze or Oosterhout for one night. Sometimes, measuring equipment can be attached, after which you are allowed to stay at home. Many of our patients already had sleeping examinations elsewhere. In Kempenhaeghe, our measurements are generally speaking more extensive and you are being observed. Sleep diagnostics are executed by somno-technologists, skilled lab techs.

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Personalizing treatment and support

When the diagnosis is clear, the specialist will discuss it with you and advise with regard to treatment and/or support. The doctor will explain why the proposed approach fits your situation.

If necessary, the treatment will be started in Kempenhaeghe. If possible, the referring doctor will set the treatment in motion. If this is the case, we will – with your permission - inform the referring doctor and your family doctor.

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Meeting your practitioners?

If you have been referred to Kempenhaeghe, we determine who of our somnologists best fits your sleeping problems, based on your request for help. Kempenhaeghe’s strengths is that we offer know-how from multiple medical specializations. If your situation requires so, you will be dealing with neurologists, pulmonologists, pediatricians, specialists for mentally disabled people, psychiatrists, psychologists, sleep therapists and clinical nurses. If necessary, we also work with EMT specialists and oral surgeons in other hospitals. One of our somnologists has the final responsibility for your case. You will always be informed who he/she is.

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Visiting the outpatient clinic or hospital

Preceding your first consult in the Center for Sleep Medicine we will send you a questionnaire and a so-called sleep/wake calendar plus instructions. In preparation of your first consult in the outpatient clinic we will study these. This will enable us to discuss your complaints and experiences in the best possible way.

Many of our patients will then get a sleep examination. This is not always required. For a sleep examination you will be hospitalized in Heeze or Oosterhout for one night.

Following the diagnosis, the specialist will propose treatment. When the examinations are completed and the treatment or support proves effective, we will refer you back to your referring doctor.

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Kwaliteit en veiligheid

Most practitioners in the Center for Sleep Medicine are entitled to bear the title somnologist. Lab techs, who conduct and analyze sleep registration, are virtually all certified somno-technologists. Both titles are certified by the European Sleep Research Society, Europe’s most prestigious association of sleep medicine.

In addition, we have been acknowledged by the Dutch federation of university medical centers (NFU) as the national expertise center for rare neurological sleeping disorders. Kempenhaeghe is also NIAZ accredited, which means that the Dutch Institute for Care Accreditation has determined that we meet the standards of the international NIAZ Qualico Europe accreditation program.

Externally and internally are patients are asked about their experiences with the quality of our care. The Apnea association granted the Center for Sleep Medicine a ‘top institution’ qualification with a maximum of five stars. Internally we ask patients monthly to take part in our patient satisfaction survey. Based on their experiences and opinions we discover what we do well and where we can improve. This is how we continually improve the quality of our care. On Zorgkaart Nederland you can find our patients’ evaluations of our organization and practitioners.

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Cooperating in patient care

Sleeping disorders are e relatively young subject in medicine. We value increasing our know-how through scientific research, but we equally value cooperating with other parties in patient care. Kempenhaeghe does this in various ways.

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