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“Is it sleep apnea, or…?”

A MEDS Ed seminar


This session of CareOregon Pharmacy’s MEDS Ed program focuses on clarifying sleep disorder screening and diagnosis; how to help patients through the challenges of CPAP usage and adherence; which medications pose greater risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea patients.

Key session takeaways

  • Prevalence is huge: 12% of the CareOregon population is impacted by sleep apnea. Part 1 - 11:40-12:15
  • OSA treatment with CPAP has a major beneficial impact on comorbidities, quality of life, and health outcomes, but to do so requires regular use (minimum 4 hours/night). Part 1 - 12:12-14:19 
  • It can be very difficult for patients to adjust to using & maintaining sleep equipment (e.g. CPAP). Strong patient support exists. Without that support, patients are likely to closet their machines and give up. Part 2 - 33:58-35:23
  • Drowsy driving is a significant public health concern – 4% of drivers drowsy behind the wheel every day. 36% admit to falling asleep behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Part 3 - 26:13 – 29:25
  • Due to the significant numbers of people affected, specialists need to collaborate with primary care clinical champions on DME support, to better address this epidemic together. Part 2 - 47:35 - 48:48

Featured speakers

  • Bill Bowerfind, MD – Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Division – The Oregon Clinic
  • Mariah Alford, PharmD, BCPS – Pharmacy Clinical Supervisor – CareOregon
  • Heather Stoecklin, RRT – Population Health Respiratory Therapist – CareOregon
  • Shannon Kaski, RPSGT – Sleep Center Manager – The Oregon Clinic

Featured content

  • Part 1: Content from Bill Bowerfind provides an overview of sleep apnea public health impacts; benefits of treatment, as well as diagnosis and sleep study assessment information.
  • Part 2: Content from Heather Stoecklin and Shannon Kaski provides insight into troubleshooting patient success and adherence with durable medical equipment; demonstration of correct equipment usage and support in patient-friendly terms.
  • Part 3: Content in Dr. Bowerfind’s second segment provides insight into effective follow-up and compliance when interpreting sleep monitoring download data; awareness of drowsy driving as a significant public health concern.
  • Part 4: Content from Mariah Alford focuses on pharmacological risk factors and deprescribing; potentially inappropriate medications, as well as updated American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria and available deprescribing resources.

Recorded on July 26, 2019 at CareOregon, Portland, OR.



Click here to download the slidedeck


MEDS Ed is an ongoing education series by CareOregon’s Pharmacy team. It’s geared to clinicians and health care professionals involved in direct patient care at community clinics. Attendees leave with valuable tools and insights that improve how they can contribute to multi-disciplinary teams.

Each three-to-four-hour MEDS Ed session examines a disease state that highly impacts patient quality of life, requires complex management, and may lead to increased emergency department visits and inpatient stays. Speakers include pharmacists and clinicians from the community and from CareOregon staff.