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Revista de la Facultad de Medicina

Print version ISSN 0120-0011


LONDONO-PALACIO, Natalia et al. Guidelines for the voluntary certification of services studying sleep disorders in Colombia (including standards for paediatric services). [online]. 2014, vol.62, n.3, pp.400-408. ISSN 0120-0011.

Background. The Colombian Association of Scientific Societies (known as ACSC in Spanish) requested the Transdisciplinary Research Group on Sleep Disorders (GITTS) to prepare a document establishing regulations for the voluntary certification of services studying sleep disorders in Colombia. The GITTS was formed by the Colombian Association of Sleep Medicine (ACMES), the Colombian Association of Internal Medicine (ACMI), the Colombian Association of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery (Asoneumocito), the Colombian Association of Neurology (ACN), the Colombian Association of Otorhinolaryngology and Facial Plastic Surgery (ACORL) and the Colombian Association of Psychiatry (ACP). It was intended that this exercise would promote excellence in diagnosing sleep disorders. Objectives. Defining minimum standards for assessing/evaluating sleep disorder diagnosis services in Colombia; although rigorous, they had to be user-friendly. ACMES was proposed to play the role of guidelines controller. Materials and methods. The exercise evaluated service organisation and management, employees and management, policy and procedures, education and staff development, facilities and equipment and quality assurance. The overall approach was influenced by programmes already established and adopted by other countries. It was expected that uniformity regarding international guidelines would decrease the amount of work needed for preparing documentation for services which are already involved in certification procedures, for example, hospital certification, and that this would help pave the way for sleep medicine certification. Results. The first step involved a self-questionnaire designed to assess whether a particular service was ready to be certified, self-assessment being a key feature of this phase. Successfully responding to the questionnaire (guided by the certification standards) indicated whether a particular sleep disorder service met certification requirements. If the answers were satisfactory, then such service would send in a complete application. A site visit would then be made if the evaluation committee (ACMES) stated that the full standards had been satisfactorily met. Services assessing children under 12 years-old had to meet specific requirements for such population. Children over 12 years-old who did not have a complex medical condition could be studied by certified adult services, as long as resuscitation equipment and trained personnel were available.

Keywords : Certification; Sleep Disorders; Sleep Medicine Specialty; Diagnosis; Techniques and Procedures; Polysomnography.

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