What to Ask Your Doctor about Medical Tests

November 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment

The single most important way you can stay healthy is to be an active member of your own healthcare team, especially when it comes to getting medical tests.

Then next time your doctor orders blood tests, x-rays or other tests to help diagnose medical problems, have the following questions ready:

  • How is the test done?
  • What kind of information will the test provide?
  • Is this test the only way to find out that information?
  • What are the benefits and risks of having this test?
  • How accurate is the test?
  • What do I need to do to prepare for the test?
  • How long will it take to get the results and how will I get them?
  • What’s the next step after the test?

Remember, quality matters, especially when it comes to your health. For tests your doctor sends to a lab, ask which lab he or she uses and why. You may want to know that the doctor chooses a certain lab because he or she has business ties to it. Or, the health plan may require that the tests go there.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Entry filed under: Managing your health.

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