Well, it would be nice to order up lab tests like ordering from a menu. Yes, I would like to order glucose, hemoglobin, with a side order of cholesterol please. You can’t order your own laboratory tests without a valid prescription or test order form from a health care provider. So, here is a early quick mini test to check if you were paying attention. Can you walk into a Patient Service Center without a prescription or doctor’s order and say, “Hey, draw my blood I want to check my cholesterol level” ? No! Individuals can’t order tests themselves. But if you are interested in having a specific laboratory test performed, simply ask your healthcare provider if the test is appropriate for you, and if he/she can order the test(s) for you. If it is a new test then bring in the article, brochure or whatever material you have on the test. Sometimes if it is a very new test the doctor may not have heard of it yet, believe it or not. You as a patient have to be informed and take initiative.
Can I receive a copy of my own test results directly?
Well, it all depends on what state or country you live in. If we take the United States as an example, due to individual state regulatory requirements, not all states allow laboratories to release results directly to the patient unless they have authorization from the ordering physician. For example, let’s say you live in New York and you had allergy testing done. You can’t just call up the lab and expect them to just hand over your results. “Hey, I had allergy testing done can you fax me the results?” But in the state of New Jersey or Connecticut you can. In fact some laboratories can make your tests available online or through a certain mobile App.(If you are interested in the full list of states that allow or don’t allow release of test results directly to patients you can contact me at [email protected] )
So, how can you get a copy of your results?
The easiest way is to get them directly from the ordering physician or health care provider. Next time your physician orders a lab test, ask your physician to indicate on the order form( requisition) or prescription that the lab should also send you a copy of the test results. He can write something like: “PATIENT MAY GET RESULTS”. Or on your next visit just ask for a copy or call the doctor’s office not the laboratory.