Lab Work & Other Studies

About Your Lab Work & Other Studies

The following information will answer your questions as to how Heritage Family Medicine handles the large amounts of test results received on a daily basis.

Where are my lab results? Imaging report? Second opinion?

Frequently patients will have blood, urine, other body fluid or

tissue sent for studies, or have been referred to a consultant for a second opinion, or have had imaging performed. This generates a LOT of data. Your HFM provider reviews each piece of returning data before it is permanently filed in your electronic medical record (EMR). Important results are given to a staff member for contacting the patient with the information, or to request a return visit to discuss.

Most of the information gathered from lab work and other studies are "normal", an insignificant variation from normal, or is merely a confirmation of what is already know ("yup, their cholesterol is still only a little high"). HFM does not routinely notify patients of normal or expected results. You, however, are always welcome to call a week or so after any study and ask our staff for that reassurance.

Any, system, human or machine, however can (and will) break down. The electronic systems forced prematurely on medicine by government action are a completely new source of potential fails we are only beginning to recognize. Just like with a phone app, or computer program, bizarre and inexplicable things can happen - sometimes with no obvious evidence of having done so. Messages sent may not be delivered. Results that return on paper could "hide" by sticking together when scanned; the computer could file something without its reviewing by the clinician. There is no way to guard against every random electronic happenstance.

You are your own last and best defense of important results being missed!

You know 'something" was done, please, ASK ABOUT RECENT STUDIES AT YOUR NEXT VISIT. Even if seeing a different HFM provider, just ask "I had some blood (or stool, or imaging, or consulting) work a few months ago, could we go over that?" Ask early in that next visit so material can be located if not readily at hand. If time is short, your request might be handed off to staff to review with you. The point, however, is that we want you to know all was as expected and a second look at data is never a bad thing.