Over the past few decades, patients have become more and more empowered about their health. Many aren't afraid to ask questions about tests, medications and procedures... and they shouldn't be! Knowledge is power, right?
A few weeks ago, my roommate was going to have a physical, and she was asking me about getting a cholesterol test done. What did it entail, what would it show her? She's 25, should she even get it done? I thought it was smart of her to be asking these questions.
With helpful tools like Lab Tests Online and other reputable Internet sources, patients can learn more about diagnostic tests, what they show and why they are important.
"It's so important for patients to know what they're getting tested for--the risks and limits of testing. And to know how sensitive the test is: how likely it is not to miss disease if you've got it, and how likely a positive result is actually a true positive," said Patrick McManus, residency director of family and community medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, in a recent USA TODAY article.
The article goes on to say many patients don't know what tests they've been given or what they are being tested for.
Being on the other end of testing, what do you think patients should do to inform themselves about laboratory tests? What services can laboratory professionals offer to help educate the public?