Release of Test Results & Clinical Visit Notes
Bassett Healthcare Network is now providing patients with immediate online access to test results and visit notes following a medical appointment through MyBassett Health Connection. This change is in keeping with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's (ONC's) 21st Century Cures Act, which requires patients have electronic access to their medical records, including doctors' notes.
This means that you may see your test results even before your practitioner has reviewed them, and that you will have access to more detailed information than your after-visit summary through your practitioner's visit notes.
If you have questions or concerns after seeing your electronic health information, we encourage you to reach out to your health care practitioner to discuss the information further.
How Can I Access This Information?
In order to view your test results, clinical visit notes, after-visit summaries, and other personal health information, you need to be enrolled in Bassett’s secure online patient portal, MyBassett Health Connection. If you are not already enrolled, visit our Benefits of MyBassett webpage to learn more. Once enrolled, you will receive a “MyBassett Health Connection” message any time that new test results are available for you to read.
Most patients like to view their test results right away, while others may prefer to wait until their practitioner has reviewed the test results. If you prefer to wait and have not heard from your practitioner within a few days, please contact your practitioner’s office so you can discuss the results together.
What Are Clinical Notes?
Each time you have an appointment or discussion with your primary care practitioner, he or she describes what happened in a clinical note. This may include any symptoms you described, or questions you asked. The note may also include the findings of a physical exam, lab tests ordered, and the overall plan for taking care of you. These notes become part of your medical record.
Why Are We Sharing These Notes With You?
We believe that this information will empower you as a patient and help you more actively manage your health. Many organizations across the country are sharing this information with patients, and it has proven to be a positive step toward improving care and opening communication between practitioners and their patients.
What to Expect When you Log in to View Your Test Results
We will now release your test results immediately to you. The following information is important for you to keep in mind as you review your results:
- You may see some results before we do. Please give us time to review and let you know our thoughts.
- We look at every result. We will contact you with any results that concern us.
- There are many results like “MCHC” and “MCV” that may show abnormal but are not clinically important. There are other results, like “ANA” that are really challenging to interpret and require reviewing other results and other information from your chart. Sometimes these are best discussed in person.
- Most results will have a small banner with a link to better explain what each test means.
We will now release radiology and pathology results immediately to you. The following information is important for you to keep in mind as you review your results:
- CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans, as well as Pap smears and biopsy results, may show sensitive results — including new or recurring cancer.
- These reports may contain terminology that is hard to understand.
- The reports may also include unexpected or unclear results.
- We ALWAYS plan to review these results with you and decide on a plan together. We prefer to do this in person or by video or phone visit.
- When possible, we will discuss the possible results with you BEFORE getting the test as well as the next steps we would take with each result. You may decide at this time to ask your practitioner to only release the results after they have been reviewed.
- Some patients prefer to see their results online immediately. Other patients may feel more comfortable waiting to discuss results with their practitioner at their next visit. As the patient, you choose when and how to receive your test results.
Contact Your Practitioner if You Have Questions or Concerns After Reviewing Your Electronic Health Information
If you have a question or concern about your test result or clinical notes that cannot wait, please contact the practitioner you visited to discuss. If you call your practitioner's office after hours, you will reach the operator, who will get you in touch with your health center's on-call practitioner.
If possible, it's recommended to wait to discuss this with the practitioner who ordered the test or took the notes, as they would more completely know you and your specific health information.