Sleep disorders have a huge impact on the health, productivity and safety of people around the world. The two most common disorders (obstructive sleep apnoea and insomnia) alone cost Australia—by conservative estimates—over $5 billion per year.
Disturbingly, current health services and policy fail to cost-effectively manage these disorders; through over-reliance on too complex and costly sleep apnea tests, unregulated industry practices often failing to deliver good outcomes for patients, and poor treatment selection and access in primary care.
The Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health is leading a major five year, $2.5 million project to establish a Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) National Centre for Sleep Health Services Research. The Centre brings together an extensive network of internationally recognised experts in sleep and respiratory medicine, general practice, nursing, pharmacy, health services and policy research, epidemiology, health economics and sleep health technologies. It will show how primary care can be placed at the centre of sleep disorders service delivery. The focus will be on deployment of simplified, cost-effective and evidence-based methods for diagnosing and managing sleep problems in primary care. By designing specialist services in a 'hub and spoke' model, primary care practitioners will be better connected and supported.