POLL: Don’t freak out over online health results

If you’ve been pushed at your doctor’s office to have your medical information available 24/7 to you through a patient portal, it’s the new trend. It’s a way to get your lab results, blood results, even imaging results immediately. But, the scary part is that you might not know how to read them, or interpret them to not be good news. And, it’s not the doctor or nurse calling with the results to explain them and answer your questions.

UT Health's Dr. James Langabeer said there’s a small handful of patients who do want to know.

“For the other 80 percent that probably don’t want it, that might get it, it might be pushed to their smart phone and then they click on it and see something alarming—don’t stress. If this were urgent, I will be calling you. It’s something that we’re going to be seeing you about the next visit,” said Langabeer.

He said this is not to replace the doctor, but to give you more data to take control of your own health.

“For those that want it and know what to do with it, it’s a really great thing. For everyone else, use caution. Don’t overreact, and just take time to try figure out what this means—and schedule your appointment with your physician to follow up on it,” said Langabeer.

He said going to a doctor-less society is not going to happen anywhere in the near future.

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