A good night's sleep for their patients is the measure of success for doctors at the Ohio Sleep Medicine Institute.

A good night's sleep for their patients is the measure of success for doctors at the Ohio Sleep Medicine Institute

The Ohio Sleep Medicine Institute, established in 1989, was one of the first standalone sleep medicine practices in the United States, according to owner Dr. Markus Schmidt. The practice is focused on the diagnosis, treatment and management of all aspects of sleep disorders.

"What you often find in the field of sleep medicine is a lot of particular individual doctors focused only on one aspect of treatment, such as a dentist who might provide dental devices, or a throat, ear and nose doctor who offers surgery. With that direction, you may get a bias toward one option or another, based on the doctor themselves," Schmidt said. "The problem is that there are so many disorders and treatments, and many people will have multiple disorders."

One of the institute's keys to success is looking comprehensively at patients' concerns and needs instead of applying a one-size-fits-all solution.

"In many cases, a patient may have both sleep apnea as well as restless leg syndrome, so if you treat one but not the other, they may assume the treatment is not working, because it isn't working for both," Schmidt said. "To overcome that, we really offer a comprehensive treatment program to discover all the issues that need to be treated."

This comprehensive nature of treatment is something Schmidt said his father, Helmut, pioneered when he first opened the practice.

"My father was a pioneer in sleep medicine and the first president of the American Board of Sleep Medicine," Schmidt said. "He helped transform this unique specialty into a well-established medical field, and it was his passion that inspired me to join the practice.

"I would say it is a philosophy brought on by my father, that through all levels of our practice, from staff to the doctors and patients, that we really listen to the patients and spend the time necessary with them to really get that comprehensive understanding of their issues."

The practice currently includes Schmidt and Dr. Asim Roy, along with 15 employees at two locations, 4975 Bradenton Ave., in Dublin, and 7277 Smith's Mill Road, in New Albany.

"Because of our strong commitment to patient care, we've seen a steady patient increase, many of whom are seeking a sleep physician who can provide long-term management of their sleep disorder," Schmidt said. "We work in close collaboration with their general practitioners, specialists and, more recently, dentists."

According to Schmidt, an important aspect of helping patients, as well as other sleep disorder professionals, is education. To that end, the Ohio Sleep Medicine Institute offers information to the public on its website, sleepmedicine.com, and hosts a yearly symposium for health professionals.

Innovative uses of technology, for education, treatment and medical records, gives the Ohio Sleep Medicine Institute an advantage when serving patients, Schmidt said.

"The bottom line for us is that we really take the patient's best interest in mind. We're advocates for them and we're innovating with technology to provide the highest level of care, despite current economic challenges," Schmidt said. "There's not a week that goes by that a patient doesn't say to me, 'you changed my life.' That's a very rewarding feeling."