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Sleep apnea program offered to carriers
HOUSTON -- The creators of a sleep apnea detection and treatment program has announced full availability of the comprehensive solution for enhancing truck driver safety and lowering health care costs for motor carriers. Precision Pulmonary Diagnostics made the announcement following completion of nearly three years of design and testing of a patent-pending online screening tool and sleep apnea detection and treatment program. In conjunction with Schneider National, Dr. Mark Berger, president of Precision Pulmonary, reported that all necessary aspects of research and development were covered. In addition, Houston-based SYSCO Corp., North America's leading foodservice marketer and distributor, will begin the program in the fall. SYSCO will begin using the online screening tool with a select number of drivers in the fall. Pending the results from the initial testing, additional areas of the company will begin testing as well. "We recognize sleep apnea as a problem that we can address in a proactive manner," said Sandra Carson, assistant vice president of safety & crisis management for SYSCO. "From what we have seen, Precision Pulmonary's program is designed to quickly and effectively diagnose and treat our employees, and we are looking forward to getting started." With sleep apnea studies showing that up to 28 percent of truck drivers were at risk, it was time for Schneider to take a serious look at prevention, said Wendy Sullivan, RN/occupational health manager at Schneider National. "Precision Pulmonary's program is designed for trucking. They understand the drivers' world of 'don't take me out of service' and 'don't make me wait'. That was very important to us and to the success of the program." According to the carrier, post treatment for the 778 drivers that were found to have sleep apnea and treated for it, is resulting in savings of $500-$708 in health care costs per treated driver per month, as well as a 30 percent reduction in accident frequency due to eliminating driver fatigue.
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