getting tested

Direct Access to Lab Results

David Mendosa Health Guide September 19, 2011
  • The Medicine 2.0 conference that I attended at Stanford University for the past three days was largely about the intelligent use of technology and the future of medicine. But we also got some good news.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services just published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would allow us to get our laboratory test results directly from the lab.

    Alan Greene, M.D., the moderator of a panel on “The Networked Patient,” announced the news at the conference. Dr. Greene created the first physician website, Dr. Greene’s Housecalls, in 1995.

    Right now very few states give us direct access to our lab results. If and when the HHS proposal goes into effect, most of us will get a new right. The proposed rule is online and is subject to a 60-day comment period.

    Dr. Greene would have liked to have more, he said. If and when the rule goes into effect, we will get our lab results when we ask for them -- not automatically.

    But I see the proposed rule as a glass at least half full. It’s in line with the trend giving us more control over our own healthcare.