The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule in 2014 that allows patients or their representatives direct access to laboratory test reports after having their identities verified, without the need to have the tests sent to a health practitioner first. This rule is intended to empower you, to allow you to act as a partner with your healthcare provider and take a more active role in your healthcare decisions.
Easier access to test results, however, places you in a position of greater responsibility. You may encounter complex test results on lab reports and will need to recognize that there is a context in which providers use results to make treatment decisions. This may require that you educate yourself about your tests in order to understand their purpose and meaning. Lab Tests Online and other credible sources of health information online can assist you in achieving a better understanding of your medical information.
Patients who want to can still get their test results from their health practitioners and patients should still look to them as the ultimate informed partner for understanding test results and providing treatment options. Lab Tests Online encourages you to discuss your lab test results with your health practitioner, using this web site to help formulate your questions.
Once you receive or access your report from the laboratory, it may not be easy for you to read or understand, leaving you with more questions than answers. This article points out some of the different sections that may be found on a typical lab report and explains some of the information that may be found in those sections.