It’s such a blessing to have access to our own lab work and the results from labs if you’re a caregiver. Lab work can give much needed answers to questions that our providers have about our health. Blood work can also give doctors the ability to make treatment plans and assess the best way to move forward during illness.
The question is… how much of your lab work documentation is necessary to keep? What do you throw away? What is important and what isn’t? How do you know when it’s time to file the old labs in the trash and trust your medical office to hold onto their own records?
My typical answer to this age old problem is the same in every scenario. I always keep 1 years worth of lab work AND any particular blood work that is diagnostic of something. If you took my blood today and compared it to blood that had been tested last week, it would be different. Keeping too much is stressful and unnecessary. Keeping too little may not give your clinicians the best picture of your health. For example, if you were diagnosed with Type I Diabetes in 2017, I would keep that record. If however, you had multiple blood draws over the course of the last 5 years but they did not yield any definitive results, I would not cart that around with you. Clinical providers are going to be more interested in changes seen within a year or positive results anyway.
A great way to maintain updated lab records is to create a Lab Corp Patient portal. Generally, your results are visible there once the ordering physician has had a change to review them! If you don’t have Lab Corp in your area, see if your local lab has one that you can join!
If you have other questions about what is best to keep or get rid of in regards to your medical documentation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me! I would love to help you!