Why do I need to come in for my blood work results?

I had standard bloodwork yearly bloodwork done last week including a lipid panel and uhh… cholesterol and a few other things. They also requested a urine test for a list of things that I cannot remember, but it’s just your run of the mill yearly test.

I did the blood test last year and passed everything with flying colors, much to the dismay of my “How can you be overweight and not diabetic??” doctor.

So today I get a call from the receptionist at my doctor’s office. “Hi there, this is Monica. We’d like to get you scheduled to over the results of your bloodwork. Will Monday work for you?”

“Actually, I have a pre-existing appointment this coming Wednesday to review my sleep study results… can we do it then?”

“Sure, that’d be great. We’ll see you then!”

OOHKAY. Now it’s been over a year since I had bloodwork done and I cannot for the very life of me remember if they requested a follow up doctors appointment with me to review my test results. I know I requested a copy of them while I was at the doctors, but it seems like I was there for a different kind of follow up appt at the time.

Because of this, I have absolutely convinced myself that there is something horribly wrong with my test results. Why didn’t she just chirp “We got your results, and you’re healthy as a horse, Ms. Malkavia!” over the phone instead of scheduling an appointment with me?

So my question is, what is the standard way to receive your blood results? Is it possible that the doctor wants to discuss my results, even if they are normal?

Could it be a patient privacy issue?

Gee, Mal, it’s been nice knowing you. :eek:

OTOH, maybe ultra’s right. Since HIPAA came along lots of offices are erring WAY on the side of caution.

They are likely erring on the side of caution and asking EVERYONE to come in, good, bad, or otherwise.

I agree! Especially since my specialist is 2 1/2 hours away by car! Very frustrating. :mad:

My used to work at a Dr’s office, and says that they usually mail out results if everything’s normal. Your office might do something different though, or you could have a value that’s in the borderline (high cholesterol or something) that the doctor wants to use to get you to improve your diet or whatever.

It’s still legal to mail out results under HIPAA though, so I’d say that they have a specific reason for having you come in.

Thanks, guys. I’m really hoping if it were super serious that they would’ve tried to get me in ASAP.
Bleeeeh. I guess I’ll know next Wednesday.

I also realized after I’d posted this that my dentist had me on a 7 day regimen of antibiotics (amoxicillin?) a couple of weeks ago and that I failed to mention this to my doctor or the people at the blood lab. :smack:

Can that skew my results?

My vote is for something slightly off (like high cholesterol or anaemia), or a slight change from last year, but nothing major.

The phone calls to worry about are when they suggest, ever so nicely, that you might like to bring someone with you. This usually means there’s bad news, and you’ll need someone to hold your hand.


The waiting’s always the worst…

Oh no, that would awful. :frowning:
I actually just called the doctors office back to let her know that I’m the Worlds Biggest Hypocondriac™ and I really needed to know that I wasn’t gonna die or my whole weekend would be ruined.

She calmly explained that it’s standard to set an appointment if anything is out of range… and that I needn’t worry because if it were something serious, she would’ve insisted that my appointment be set for today.


My doctor’s office often has me (and my folks, they go to the same one) come in because they need to do further tests, or because you might need some medication, or whatever - they don’t want to tell you over the phone because then you might not come in for treatment even if “treatment” is “you need to get more exercise”.

You have a deadly case of overly-stuffed wallet. They need to relieve the pressure.

I concur Dr Chefguy. He needs to have an emergency co-payment removal.

Speaking as a salaried Canadian specialist MD -

I generally tell patients that if the blood test results are normal, they will not get a call, but they are welcome to call after a week or so to confirm that (i.e. make sure that I actually got the results and saw them). If the blood tests are critically abnormal (say, dilantin level way too high), they typically get a phone call from me the day I get the results with a discussion of what needs to be done next . Blood tests results that are not critically abnormal but need to be addressed typically result in my secretary either booking an appointment or moving up a follow up appointment.

Docs don’t like telling patients results over the phone because (1) we lose all visual cues as to how you are responding to what we are telling you (are you confused or sad or angry or …) , and (2) often how we decide what to do about an abnormal test result depends what condition you are in (e.g. do you need admission to hospital for a pneumonia or can I just give you some antibiotics as an outpatient), and without being able to see and assess you, I run the risk of making the wrong decision. There are other reasons, but those are the main ones.

Thank you for your input, serious lark. I’m a little calmer now. I have noticed that I’ve been eating MUCH better and getting more exercise since that phone call on Friday. Maybe it’ll do me some good to have something a little out of range.

Last year when all of my levels were perfect, I left with a “See? I don’t NEED to live healthy, I’m just fine like this! Hand me another cheeseburger, huh?”

Yeah, that’ll learn me to take decent blood results as pass on healthy living. :smack:

Well, well, well.

It looks like I’m just about as healthy as a horse and I cannot BELIEVE they made me worry for 5 days for these results.

My T3 Uptake (1/3 of the thyroid tests) shows .9 below normal range and my urine test shows “small” for Leukocyte Esterase, which my doctor assures me is nothing to worry about.

Everything else is perfect. Woohooo!! happy dance