Health Literacy: blood test results

Todd Vandenbark

Health literacy logoA new survey reports that consumers want better access to, and an understanding of their blood test results. It found that while

“nearly 90 percent of people would prefer to discuss blood test results during a doctor’s visit, only about 40 percent have discussed their results in person, primarily because the results were either mailed or emailed to the patient or the patient never received the results. In addition, some respondents reported that providers told them to assume everything was okay if the doctor did not notify them about the results.”

As a result, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors have launched a “Know Your Numbers” Educational Campaign in Conjunction with National Health Literacy Month. These two groups

“convened representatives from government, business, healthcare professional groups and consumer advocates to examine the state of the nation’s health literacy regarding blood tests. The result of this effort, “Fundamentals to Wellness and Prevention: A Call to Action,” is a report that encourages business, healthcare and government leaders to work together to help consumers become more aware of the importance of blood tests, facilitate timely access to test results and help consumers understand their blood test “numbers” so they can translate the knowledge into action.”

One would hope that these groups would also include librarians from public and health libraries, who are also “consumer advocates” that can put such important medical information before the public quickly, easily and for free.

Do you understand the information from your blood tests? Did you have the opportunity to discuss the results with a physician, or were you told that the doctor would call if there was a problem? Tell us about it!