The present paper describes standardized procedures within clinical sleep medicine. As such, it is a continuation of the previously published European guidelines for the accreditation of sleep medicine centres and European guidelines for the certification of professionals in sleep medicine, aimed at creating standards of practice in European sleep medicine. It is also part of a broader action plan of the European Sleep Research Society, including the process of accreditation of sleep medicine centres and certification of sleep medicine experts, as well as publishing the Catalogue of Knowledge and Skills for sleep medicine experts (physicians, non-medical health care providers, nurses and technologists), which will be a basis for the development of relevant educational curricula. In the current paper, the standard operational procedures sleep medicine centres regarding the diagnostic and therapeutic management of patients evaluated at sleep medicine centres, accredited according to the European Guidelines, are based primarily on prevailing evidence-based medicine principles. In addition, parts of the standard operational procedures are based on a formalized consensus procedure applied by a group of Sleep Medicine Experts from the European National Sleep Societies. The final recommendations for standard operational procedures are categorized either as 'standard practice', 'procedure that could be useful', 'procedure that is not useful' or 'procedure with insufficient information available'. Standard operational procedures described here include both subjective and objective testing, as well as recommendations for follow-up visits and for ensuring patients' safety in sleep medicine. The overall goal of the actual standard operational procedures is to further develop excellence in the practice and quality assurance of sleep medicine in Europe.
© 2011 European Sleep Research Society.