Friday, October 16, 2009

Right to your lab results

I received an email action request from the which I feel pretty strongly about. It's basically a call to action to have the Federal rules changed so that patients can have better access to their own lab test results.

As someone who cares very much about my health I always want to know the results of any lab tests I take. I even get them from my veterinarian for my cat. Doctors are busy and they miss things, like they missed that my TSH was going out of range. My vet did not tell my some of my cat's labs were abnormal, things that perhaps a supplement or change in diet could have forestalled. Then I can research these things and come back and ask intelligent questions.

Some states have additional laws about lab results, but at least we can make sure the Federal rules don't stand in the way.

Anyway, please go to and endorse their declaration which reads:

A Declaration of Health Data Rights

In an era when technology allows personal health information to be more easily stored, updated, accessed and exchanged, the following rights should be self-evident and inalienable. We the people:

  1. Have the right to our own health data
  2. Have the right to know the source of each health data element
  3. Have the right to take possession of a complete copy of our individual health data, without delay, at minimal or no cost; if data exist in computable form, they must be made available in that form
  4. Have the right to share our health data with others as we see fit

These principles express basic human rights as well as essential elements of health care that is participatory, appropriate and in the interests of each patient. No law or policy should abridge these rights.

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