Sometimes things fall through the cracks in health care. Trust. But Verify.
Patrick's surgery to remove a painful mass went well and the initial report showed it was benign. As usual, samples went to a lab for further testing where the mass actually proved to be malignant – but this report never reached Patrick's surgeon. By the time it was discovered,
Patrick was beyond treatment. Sadly, he died soon after.
Here's what you can do.
Keep track of every test ordered for you.
Ask your doctor for the following details and take good notes:
Date the test was done
The doctor who ordered it
Why it was ordered
What you will learn from the test
When to expect test results
Where you will find the test results (i.e., on your portal or elsewhere?)
Soonest availability of your doctor to explain your test results to you. Note: Sometimes you can get a telehealth appointment sooner than an office appointment.
Look for test results on your patient portal or call your doctor's office on the date your results are expected. If necessary, keep following up. Sometimes, it makes sense to have tests repeated. Believe it or not, there is variability in how tests are administered and evaluated in different labs. If you ever feel that your tests or results don't square up with your gut feeling, I can be your sounding board – or take your concerns directly to your doctor.
Don't let tests fall through the cracks anywhere...including any cracks in your confidence in the results. Your peace of mind is everything!