If my doctor’s office does not call me with a test result-should I assume that it was ok?

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One should never assume that test results are normal if they do not hear from their Doctor.  As a patient you need to be responsible for your own health care.  If you have had something done such as mammogram or bloodwork (anything at all) and you do not hear from your health care provider within 1 week on the results whether it is normal or not-you need to call them to get results.  Never feel that you are inconveniencing the Doctor or office with phone calls about test results.  If they do not have the result when you call-ask when you can call back to get it or when you can expect to hear from them.  If you do not receive them at that time then call again.

Most of the time your Doctor or health care provider will be concientious about getting the results to you but many things can occur to prevent this from happening.  Hospitals and Doctors offices are dealing with large amounts of paperwork every day.  Occaisionally your test result does not even make it to you health care providers office even if the Doctors name is printed on it.  If it does not get there then it is not missed and you are not called with results.  Offices have many-many patients and we like to think that the Doc remembers all of us and all of the things we are having done but remember the Doctor is also human and even if they have a really great system for taking care that nothing gets missed-it is still a possibility.

When your result does make it back to the office-there is always the chance that it could be filed incorrectly or handled incorrectly-remember it is important for you to know exactly what the results say-not just “It was normal”.  Have the results read to you and explained.  As patients-we are responsible for taking charge of our healthcare-never assume.


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