Category Archives: pulse oximeter

A Hassle-Free Overnight Oximetry Test

There are a number of reasons doctors and nurses would need to monitor the blood oxygen saturation of a patient’s limbs during rest, including during or after sedation, monitoring lung medicines, after increased activity levels, or in the cases of sleep apnea, pneumonia or heart attacks. While the list goes on, most doctors can agree that an oximetry test is useful to have on hand. The SPO 7500 measures blood oxygen saturation levels and heart pulse rate through a wearable device, much like a watch, which keeps big machines out of the equation.

This simple test can be administered while the patient sleeps, and unlike other overnight oximetry monitors, this wrist oximeter is barely noticeable. In fact, the unit sits comfortably on the patient’s wrist, so long leads and wires won’t get tangled. When the patient awakes, the data can be transferred easily to your system using the USB Data Transfer Cable. Not only is this process is quick, but all the readings are stored for 80 hours. This means you have some flexibility and can wait awhile to transfer the patient’s data in case more pressing concerns demand your attention.

Because this test does not cost anything to run time after time, your practice will yield $24.72 in total reimbursements each time you administer it. A little boost to your revenue will help everyone at your practice sleep a little more soundly as well.

Investing in a Pulse Oximetry Monitor

There are many devices that boast the latest and greatest in the medical world. But some simple devices can deliver wonderful benefits with a low overhead cost to your practice and a non-invasive alternative for your patients. Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive method for monitoring a person’s oxygen saturation in the bloodstream. This is a painless way to measure how well oxygen is being sent to parts of the body furthest from the heart. This device is often used:

  • During or after procedures that use sedation
  • To see how well lung medicines are working
  • To monitor safety of increased activity levels
  • To see if a ventilator is needed/monitor a ventilator
  • To diagnose sleep apnea

A pulse oximetry monitor can be a great boon to your practice. This small non-invasive device can improve patient care and increase reimbursement thanks to its low cost per test. Testing does not require any invasive procedures or risky medical care. This simple device is clipped on the the patients finger to read vitals and oxygen saturation. With an investment like this is in your practice, you can run ancillary services such as basic Pulse Oximetry or Overnight Oximetry. These services return $3.22 and $24.72 respectively per test, helping your practice’s bottom line.

If you are interested in making the wise investment in a pulse oximetry monitor, check out the selection available at Medical Device Depot. The SPO 7500 Wrist Oximeter Recording Package and the BCI Digit Finger Pulse Oximeter are both popular options that do well with Pulse Oximetry and Overnight Oximetry testing.

Estimated 2011 Medicare Payment Rates

The below worksheet by Cardiac Science details medicare payment rates. These rates cover a wide variety of medical equipment sold by Medical Device Depot, including:

For more information on these products or to make a purchase, call 877-646-3300 or visit Medical Device Depot.

Estimated 2011 Medicare Payment Rates

An Overview of Pulse Oximeters

Pulse oximetry is based on the principle that oxygen is carried in the bloodstream, bound primarily to hemoglobin, according to E. Hill and Stoneham, M.D.  One molecule of hemoglobin can carry up to four molecules of oxygen – a 100 percent saturation level. Light is absorbed at two different wavelengths by the hemoglobin. The absorption rate differs, depending on the degree of oxygenation. As the light passes through tissues, it has a pulsatile component. The oximeter measures:

  • The oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in arterial blood.
  • The pulse rate in beats per minute.

Why Is a Pulse Oximeter Used?

Pulse oximeters provide a rapid indication of a patient’s changing level of oxygenation. Since the level of oxygenation is continuously being monitored, pulse oximeters allow for clinical intervention before significant hypoxia, or low levels of blood oxygen, occurs. This is very important in situations where general anesthesia is being administered, since an anesthetic can deprive the body of the oxygen it needs. That is why many states require the use of a pulse oximeter while administering anesthesia.
A pulse oximeter can also be used to make sure Medicare patients, before beginning home oxygen therapy, meet certain clinical criteria. In addition, they are often used to monitor patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.

How it Works:

A pulse oximeter employs a peripheral probe and a microprocessor unit, which displays a waveform, the oxygen saturation and the pulse rate. Most units have an audible pulse tone. The pitch of the tone is proportional to the oxygen saturation level. The clinician or doctor places the probe on the patient’s finger, ear lobe or nose.

The probes have two light-emitting diodes – one in the visible red spectrum (660 nm) and the other in the infrared spectrum (940 nm) – that pass through the body tissues to a photodetector. As the light beams pass through the tissues, light is absorbed by blood and soft tissue. The amount of light absorbed depends on the degree of oxygenation and hemoglobin within the tissues. Hill and Stoneham offer the following tips for optimal use of pulse oximetry:

  • Plug the oximeter into an electrical socket to recharge the batteries.
  • Turn on the unit and wait for it to go through calibration and check tests.
  • Select the correct probe with regard to size and use.
  • Avoid excess force when positioning the probe.
  • Allow several seconds for the pulse oximeter to detect the pulse and calculate the oxygen saturation.
  • Read off the displayed oxygen saturation and pulse rate.

Advances in Technology:
In the past four years, manufacturers have made strides in oximetry technology, according to a recent report by Anesthesi-ology News. For instance, Nellcor Puritan Bennett of Pleasanton, Calif., now makes a unit reported to provide accurate readings for adults and neonates during motion. Other models are designed to determine signals that could be mistaken for a pulse.

Another example is a model by Masimo Corp. of Irvine, Calif., which is designed to process the red and infrared signals. The company’s Signal Extraction Technology (SET) employs digital signal processing, low-noise hardware and sensor technology designed to decrease the impact of ambient noise and non-arterial physiologic noise produced during motion.

Today, clinicians have more choices when it comes to pulse oximetry. An informed sales rep who understands the different technologies available can help his or her customers get the most accurate results, stay in compliance and increase the quality of care for the patient.