Patients often puzzled by medical test reports

From Reuters:

Even the most educated, take-charge individuals may have a hard time deciphering the test results they can access after a doctor visit, two new studies suggest.

“The benefits of improving patient access to their own medical information are fairly clear: patient empowerment and engagement in their own health care, and an improved trust and sense of partnership with their healthcare provider,” Dr. Daniel Miller, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, told Reuters Health by email.

Both studies, however, also suggest that giving people online access to their own lab reports – in these studies, skin biopsy results – might come with risks that won’t be entirely clear until more people are getting their test results this way, said Miller, who wrote an editorial accompanying the studies in JAMA Dermatology.

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