Sleep Disorders Center at Mease Countryside Receives Prestigious Reaccreditation

March 19, 2021
Sleep Disorders Center at Mease Countryside Receives Prestigious Reaccreditation
From left to right: Marietta Bibbs, system manager of sleep disorders; Michael Longman, sleep disorders coordinator; Elva Feucht, supervisor of sleep disorders; Margit Anderson, clinical sleep educator; Kevin Poole, polysomnographic tech III; Joanne Elliott, sleep disorders coordinator; Mike Summers, polysomnographic tech III, and Patti Vecchiarelli, clinical sleep educator.


The Mease Countryside Sleep Disorders Center recently received a five-year reaccreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), one of just two facilities in Pinellas County to be so recognized.

Since 1977, the academy has set the gold standard by which the medical community and public evaluate sleep medicine facilities. AASM accreditation focuses on clinical standards for performing sleep studies and managing sleep disorder patients. Accredited centers are required to follow national standards for recording, monitoring and processing sleep data. Patient follow-up and outcome measures are mandatory.

In addition, the technical staff must demonstrate the ability to meet or exceed the national standard for scoring sleep studies.
Marietta Bibbs, system manager of sleep disorders for BayCare, said achieving this prestigious reaccreditation was particularly rewarding because it came during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were closed for nearly nine weeks from March to May, which reduced the amount of time we had to write new policy, document and submit the required paperwork,’’ Marietta said. “It was challenging and exhausting, but now that we have received it, it’s worth it.’’ 

Due to COVID, the center was accredited based on the paperwork submitted, and a site visit will be scheduled in a couple of months, Marietta said. The accrediting team will verify what the sleep center is doing and review policies. Physicians must be on hand to demonstrate how they interpret a sleep study. The goal is to ensure the highest quality of care is delivered to patients with sleep disorders.

Before the pandemic hit, BayCare had nine active sleep centers; now there are three. Mease Countryside is the hub, with six beds operating seven days a week. Bardmoor has four beds and is open three days a week. St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital, which only sees pediatric patients, has six beds and is open three days a week.

“We’re very proud of Mease Countryside’s accreditation, and we are focused and determined to reaccredit Bardmoor and St. Joseph’s in the future,’’ Marietta said.

In the United States, an estimated 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders ranging from insomnia to sleep apnea. A large percentage of disorders go undiagnosed and untreated, leading to a decline in overall health, wellness and productivity for the individual. 

For more information on the Mease Countryside Sleep Disorders Center or to schedule an appointment or test, call (727) 734-6716.


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