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Dr isn't giving me my labs?
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Dr isn't giving me my labs?

Had blood draw last Mon at a lab, and the lab confirmed they faxed the results Wednesday. Wednesday I called the doctor and the nurse said they hadn't received it yet but that they wouldn't call me unless something was wrong. (This made me nervous - don't think I can wait 3 weeks until the appt to know the actual numbers!!) I called my dr. about 8 times Friday between noon and 5pm but just got a voicemail (that strangely didn't have a way to leave them a message). After several calls this morning, the nurse FINALLY picked up and confirmed they had the labs but that she couldn't tell them to me over the phone until the doctor "signed off" on them and I would be called this afternoon. Never happened. I am freaking out. The lab states they won't give patients their test results. My old doctor used to call me within 48 hrs.

How long should I wait? Doesn't the lab have to give me the results by law? I'm worried that if the nurse wouldnt just tell me the numbers over the phone that there is something really bad. The strange thing was, when she picked up this morning, I didn't even introduce myself over the phone - she knew exactly who I was and without looking anything up or taking my info she knew my tests were "on the doctor's desk". I am really scared now
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12 Comments Post a Comment
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1947387_tn?1325644930
also received a call from the pharmacy last week saying my old doctor had called in a 90 day prescription of synthroid for me to pick up. i havent had an appointment w/ him in about a month. i am just so sick of depending on doctors for anything..
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649848_tn?1357751184
Labs are under no obligation to provide you with your results; that's the doctor's responsibility.  Whenever labs are received in a doctor's office, it's customary for them to be withheld until after the doctor reviews and signs off on them.  This is not an indication that there's something wrong.

In addition, many doctors will not release lab results over the phone (or do so only under special circumstances), but insist on the patient waiting until their appointment, at which time, they are handed over - my pcp does this.  For this reason, I never go for blood work ordered by this doctor until the week prior to my appointment, otherwise my labs are weeks old, before I ever get to see them.  The exception is if the doctor has ordered blood work to be done between visits; then they will provide them over the phone, after the doctor has reviewed them, but only if I call and ask for them, because they figure "no news is good news"; therefore, if they don't call us, everything is fine.  

In your case, since you didn't get a call today, maybe the doctor had not had time to review them, or the nurse just didn't call you.  I'd call again tomorrow, early enough in the day to be able to expect a return call before the end of the day.

As to the script getting called in by a doctor you haven't seen - maybe the pharmacy called for refill authorization; maybe someone on the doctor's staff did it - who knows.  If you don't need/want that script, you don't have to accept it from the pharmacy.
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1947387_tn?1325644930
Thanks.. I was pretty alarmed as I'm used to being contacted very quickly without regard to the results being "good" or "bad". I did not fill the prescription, I'm just surprised he would send a refill as that dose was only given to me as a trial and he wanted me to have a followup blood test before doing anything else (which I never scheduled as I'm now seeing someone else). I work in public accounting where customer service is expected to be quick and thorough, and everything we do is documented, organized, and reviewed for quality. I guess the medical field is just more type B personalities. :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I have some doctors who call withing 48 hrs with results good/bad, and others who wait 10 days good/bad & others who wait until my next appointment.

Everyone is different & I always remind myself "I am not their only patient". I work in an office & sometimes I catch myself saying "your not my only customer/client".

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535882_tn?1396580285
my lab mails me the results you have to fill out a release form at the time you give blood. and they'll send you a copy. otherwise when you go to the doc. ask for a copy when you leave they usually will no problem. Kevin
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1841872_tn?1324669689
Anytime my doctor rights out a lab slip for me I have her write ...send copy to patient on the form. HOWEVER, I still did not get my labs results sent to me and had to wait another 3 weeks for appointment with my doctor to see them. So I kinda made a sink about it.  (squeaky wheel )I talked to the receptionist about it, the nurse about it and the Doctor about  it...and will talk to the lab about it as well. Let them know it is very important for you to have the results sent to you as well as your doctor.  Not sure what state you are in but you can check out the laws on patient care and see what they are.
Good luck!!
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1947387_tn?1325644930
Thanks.. it makes a little more sense now. I haven't been feeling well and have been so anxious for some validation via the lab results - I'm even more worried the labs will be "normal" and then I'll really know I'm crazy!

And btw, I realize it may have come off that I was harrassing the doctor a bit, but I had been calling the receptionist desk repeatedly, not the doctor/nurse's line :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I did ONCE emailed the hospital directory about being very dissappointed in the standard reply I get from nurses on it is protocol to wait at least 7-10 days for lab results.

When they changed my thyroid dosage from 125 to 175mcg & had me retest 8 weeks later I wanted to know immediately incase I had to increase or decrease. If I have to have a change I am waiting basically another 2 weeks to start the new dose.

My PCP always calls me within 24-48 hrs, never an issue. Well it just so happened someone other dr. (mine on vacation) did the lab request. When I called to get the info I was immediately told you have to wait 7-10 days for results...I was not happy & angry. So I got on to the hospital's web site & emailed the director. Let's just say they called me immediately..I got the lab results my level was TSH .36 & T4 1.44 (SO NOT BAD).

In the email I did state "I guess I should be lucky I am not waiting to see if I have some deadly contagious disease" because by the time I would know I have given it to everyone at work & stores, movies.

They did send a email & call at least 3 times to apologize and stated they will make sure it never happens again.

The following week I had lab work done for something totally different & my PCP called with 24 hrs....I can handle the 24-48 hrs wait, but the 7-10 days in ridiculous....If it has to do with dosage changes. Most of my other lab work is not bothersome, but my thyroid levels are.
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1947387_tn?1325644930
Called twice today and they didn't pick up.. considering they seem to know me by my phone number I really freaked out they're avoiding me. I was supposed to find out "as soon as they received the labs". they received them a week ago. yesterday morning she said the doctor would tell me that afternoon. still nothing. i am in a total panic over this and have not been able to get anything done today because ive been stressing so much. what is the worst news that could be received from routine thyroid panel?
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1841872_tn?1324669689
Can you go there in person?
I did that once as I couldn't hear well enough to find out what was happening. They know me now and when I went to the window I asked to see the labs, they made copies right then and there.
May be worth the trip......
Mia
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649848_tn?1357751184
Don't panic, don't freak out.........no news should be good news - meaning, nothing drastic. The worst that can come from a routine thyroid panel (assuming that's TSH, FT3 and FT4) is that you need a med adjustment......

Document your phone calls (date/time), because if there were anything drastic (life threatening) going on and they withheld that info, you'd be able to sue them.  I doubt seriously, they would take that chance.  Most phones now have caller ID, so they know how often you are calling.  Is there an option to leave a message?  Do you have e-mail access to your doctor?  If so, take advantage of it.  

If you have to wait for your appointment to get your results, do make sure you talk to your doctor about it, because he may not realize his staff is doing this, but if he does know how his staff is behaving, he might have to think about losing patients because of it. Be sure to let him know that no one returning your calls, added considerably to your stress and made you feel like no one cares.........




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Avatar_f_tn
What barb135 said is true 99% of the time. For me no news is good news. I do have to say I have had calls immediately when something is found abnormal.

Just last week (Thurs) I had routine blood work done to check my vi d & calcium (trying to rule parathyroid issues). I got a call from my endo Monday concerning my abnormal results.

Now BACK on Feb. 14 I had a biopsy for endometris or pre cancerous cells; I have YET to hear back from Gyno, but my mind is "no news is good news"...Althought my Gyno is one who you don't get calls back on results for at least 10 days...

However, that does not bug me any, but they thyroid sure did for some reason. I can wait to have to stress until I have too. I guess I will know gyno results next Tues when I go for pre op.

I do have to go see my endo Thurs. My endo is 90 miles away, but she comes to a huge hospital twice a month that is only 30 miles away, so getting information in touch with my Endo is complicated.....

Like barb said, don't stress UNTIL YOU HAVE TOO.....The worse you could hear is you need adjustment or need to be put on medication for your thyroid. Not a big deal really. You will be fine.....
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