These days, looking after your health is easier than ever – things like an online pathology test make life so much simpler. Gone are the days where you had to travel to a medical centre to get support – you can now see a GP virtually in the comfort of your own home!
However, if you are new to taking care of your health virtually, it is normal to be a bit unsure as to how the process works.
This article provides an overview of what to expect when you get an online pathology test done.
Interpreting your results
The results you get can have a huge effect on the healthcare choices and treatments you end up receiving. And did you know that a “normal” result for you might be “abnormal” for someone else? Understanding your results requires you to understand yourself. Better yet, having your medical practitioner explain the results to you allows you to get the best diagnosis and treatment. For serious issues it may be good to get a second opinion from another practitioner, too. Your practitioner should explain your online pathology test results and discuss them with you openly.
Some of the factors that may affect the way your results are interpreted include:
- Your medical and family history
- Your gender and age
- Your current health condition
- Any medications you are taking
- Your occupation
- Your diet
Getting a copy of your results
You are legally entitled to receive a copy of your online pathology test results. While your GP is the ideal person to interpret these results, you can receive a copy by requesting one from your treating practitioner or the relevant laboratory. Keep in mind that the laboratory may be required to inform your treating practitioner that you have requested a copy of the results. This is done because they want to help ensure you understand your results – some people might find their results confusing or distressing if they do not properly understand them. There can be a lot of medical jargon on results that may need to be translated by a practitioner.
Who can access your results
The online pathology test laboratory is restricted through privacy laws from sharing your personal information and results with whomever they want. This means that your family members can’t just request access to your results – they must have your consent. The results can only be released to you or your treating practitioner.
The only circumstances in which a laboratory can release your results are:
- If they have received a court order to do so
- If they are legally required to report notifiable diseases (e.g. measles) to their governing health authority.
How long it takes to get your results
The results of your online pathology test should be released anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the type you have requested and the circumstances. For example, urgent blood results can be acquired in just a few minutes, whereas if you need to get a specialist request done overseas, this could take weeks or months.
Feel free to contact your treating practitioner or the laboratory to ask when your results should be available.
How they are delivered
Most results are delivered electronically, meaning you can access online pathology test results with ease. However, some may be delivered to your treating practitioner via fax or mail. Check with your practitioner. While you are allowed to request a copy of your results, the results are technically the property of your treating practitioner, and the specimen is the property of the laboratory.