Understanding your test results

We are changing the way we tell you about your test results.

Whilst we will aim to contact you with any results that need urgent action, we would now like you to access your results online, (and if not your should continue to call reception for your results).

We would like those who already access their online medical record to view their results in this way so we are setting this up. We are also setting up those without online access to have online access so that everyone can benefit from ordering prescriptions online and accessing test results online.

This article explains more about test results.

You may have tests as part of routine monitoring or to investigate new symptoms.

If you have been told to arrange a further appointment with the GP or Nurse after blood tests, please do so. Please book a routine appointment so that you have the right amount of time to discuss the results unless you have been asked to do so urgently.

If you look online, you will be able to see the results and also the comments made by the doctor who has checked your results (all results are seen by a doctor).

Please be guided by the comment that the doctor has made. The doctor will have reviewed the result and applied their medical knowledge and their knowledge of you to tell you what is OK and what may need further tests or treatment. The doctor will comment on the result taking into account a number of things such as:

  • What is an acceptable abnormality (see below)
  • What is normal for you individually taking into account your previous results and the effects of any treatment you are taking or medical conditions you may have.
  • How your result may be affected by any illness at the time of the result

It is important to understand that it is rare that tests are completely normal and we do not want you to be worried unnecessarily. Whilst numbers are exact things, in terms of test results, numbers outside the “normal range” are not always important. There are two common reasons for this:

1) Any lab test has a “margin of error”. This means that a result that comes back as 10, for example, could, if repeated on the same equipment, next time come back as anywhere between 8 and 12. This means than “10” can actually mean “8-12” and this can put the result in the normal range.

2) Because of the way “normal ranges” for a result are calculated, a proportion of normal people can have an abnormal result. Put simply, normal ranges are set so that 19 out of 20 people without any problems will fall within this range. The 20th person can be outside this range without there being a problem.

 

If your doctor has said your test results are normal, satisfactory or stable, you can be reassured. If have further questions and have an appointment planned, please discuss this at this appointment.

If your doctor wants you to book an appointment or have treatment, they will ask this on the comments on the results. Please follow these instructions. If the doctor wants you to have any tests or treatment urgently, they will tell you this. All other requests are not urgent and can be arranged at the next available routine appointment.

Hopefully this had been helpful. If you have further queries please discuss these with your GP or Nurse routinely.

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