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Medical Lab Tests Without a Dr's Orders.

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I have been spoiled by my dr's in the past being organized, informative and proactive. The last 3 seasons I tried a newly opened medical clinic near our winter location and thought boy this would be convenient. The first year was great, the 2nd year so so (IMHO employee burn out possibly due to mergers and acquisitions of smaller practices) and this year lots of employee turn over. When it came to my blood draw a test was missing. When I called to confirm the print out I was given I was informed that it was not done and I was more than welcome to return for more blood drawn at a price and dr's visit.

 

I think it will be best to find another dr for next season. I also Googled the clinic and found other branch locations in the area with similar reviews: specifically no or poor follow up and records mishandled. I take all reviews with a grain of salt but when there are multiple reviews with similar issues there is something there. I don't expect Marcus Welby MD but I would like to know that my dr listens, reviews my file and data is accurately recorded.

 

As I am researching dr's and lab tests I read an article DIY Lab Testing that announced Arizona started permitting patients to bypass drs orders to get lab tests with in the last 6 mo's. I believe other states may already have something similar. A couple of years ago while in Hendersonville, NC the local Red Cross office offered patients a variety of blood tests without a dr's order.

 

The test I need according to this menu Theranos is only $4.41 and I don't need to pay for a dr visit to obtain it. Another neat thing about this lab is that "Theranos collects blood and plasma specimens by pricking a patient's finger rather than drawing larger vials used by traditional labs."

 

Not everyone has the ability or desire to do their own medical research but as we find fewer and fewer dr's available we may need to be more proactive with our health care to provide the checks and balances that appear to be missing?

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Do those states require a lab to do tests without a doctors order, or do they just allow it to take place? That could make a difference. With no medical training, I have never seen the need for any tests other than those ordered by my doctor, but I suppose that could happen.

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Kirk,

 

Lots of people like to keep track of the A1C, better indicator of their blood glucose levels than fasting finger prick. Cholesterol levels, hemoglobin levels, potassium levels (if you're taking BP meds with diuretics in them), BUN levels, etc. People with chronic conditions learn very quickly what numbers are good and what numbers require an appointment to have meds adjusted.

 

The only thing is making sure that the lab passes all of the quality control checks that are required. Theranos has had a problem with some of their tests - getting the FDA approval for the micro tests with finger sticks instead of the normal blood draw. Some pharmacies are setting up 'lab' areas in conjuction with different labs.

 

Barb

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