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Test results to be immediately available in MyChart

A new law requires Asante lab and pathology results to be accessible by patients as soon as they’re finalized.

blood test

Under a new state law that took effect Jan. 1, results from  lab and pathology tests performed at Asante facilities and ordered by any primary care provider or specialist will appear in MyChart as soon as they’re finalized — potentially before the ordering provider has reviewed them.

This is similar to a more sweeping federal law prohibiting health care organizations from “blocking” health information to patients.

Currently, when a non-Asante community provider refers a patient to an Asante lab for testing, results are withheld from the patient for seven days to comply with a state law that’s no longer on the books. Beginning May 2, Asante will release those results immediately as it does for all other Asante-ordered lab and pathology tests, as well as other diagnostic test results.

“The new state law, much like the information-blocking prohibitions the federal government began enforcing last April, continues to emphasize that such results belong to our patients, and that they generally should have access to their health information without interference or delay,” said Lee Milligan, MD, chief information officer.

The change comes with advantages, and some drawbacks. Seeing test results before speaking with their provider gives patients time to process the information and prepare questions. In the rare cases that an abnormal result is overlooked, the patient’s involvement makes a missed diagnosis even less likely. The transparency also alleviates clinic and MyChart call volumes, many of which involve questions or concerns about test results.

On the other hand, patients may be confused or alarmed by results, which often require a clinician’s explanation. Because of this, many providers will be having “anticipatory conversations” with patients to explain the spectrum of results that may appear in their chart.

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