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Author Topic: Is this standard operating procedure?  (Read 7198 times)

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Offline a2z

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  • Posts: 209
Is this standard operating procedure?
« on: December 28, 2007, 05:00:30 pm »
I thought since it fell under "Treatment" this was a better forum that "Living with HIV" -- If I am wrong, please feel free to move the thread.

I went last week (the 19th) to get lab work done that was expected to be done by the 21st or at worst, the 26th.  I was told after the appointment the doctor could call me with my numbers on one of those days and got the same response when I called back on the 26th. 

I called back today and they told me while my bloodwork had come in that the doctor wasn't in today. But that if there were any problems, they would have called to schedule an appointment. They did ask if I had a follow on appointment, and I said "late january" and they were like "that should be okay.... so I assume my numbers weren't terrible.

I'm guessing if I don't hear back by end of day January 3rd for an immediate appointment, that all is well -- as can be expected.

But is this kind of behavior normal under HIPPA rules?  It shouldn't be so damn hard to get some numbers, even if just given to me as "351 18% 210,000" -- I just made those up.

I'm both asking a question and venting here... is this standard operating procedure for getting lab results?
Dates are blood draw dates:
3/12/15: CD4 941, 36.4%, VL UD
9/4/14: CD4 948, 37.9%, VL 150
5/23/14: CD4 895 --.-% VL UD - Truvada/Isentress
09/21/09: CD4 898 27.0% VL 120 - back on track, same meds.High level enzymes, but less so
06/15/09: CD4 478 21.8% VL 1150 - high liver enzymes... looks like I may not be resistant
05/22/09: Fixed insurance, resumed medicine
04/17/09: Ran out of medicine, could not resolve insurance problems
04/01/09: CD4 773 28% VL 120 - high liver enzymes
12/01/08: CD4 514 23% VL 630
10/17/08 started Reyataz, Norvir and Truvada. -- possibly minor neuropathy, but otherwise okay.
9/10/08: CD4 345 17%, VL > 78K
8/18/08: CD4 312 18%, VL > 60K (considering meds)
12/19/07: CD4 550 28% VL > 100K (no meds yet)
Diagnosed 10/23/07

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Posts: 7,917
  • Positive since 1985, joined forums 12/03
Re: Is this standard operating procedure?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2007, 06:06:55 pm »
When I go in, for my 3 month blood tests, those results are mailed to me ( from my doctors office) on a folded card, about 10 days later. All the critical tests results are given to me. If I want all the results. I go to the doctors office and ask for a copy of those blood tests.

 The doctor would call me, if there was something not right with those results ( prior to the doctor mailing the card). This way his office will reschedule me,  to come back in again for further discussion, or perhaps some further or repeated tests.

« Last Edit: December 28, 2007, 06:24:00 pm by J.R.E. »
Current Meds ; Viramune / Epzicom , 20 mg of Atorvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Amlodipine Besolate 5mg-- Updated 12/11/20

Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of Jan 8th,21,  Viral load remains Undetectable

CD 4 @535 /  CD4 % @ 16 %


  • Guest
Re: Is this standard operating procedure?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2007, 07:23:29 pm »
Well, I get an order for my blood draws each time before leaving the Doctor's office.    I go in about 10 days before each appointment and have the blood drawn and then get the results when I meet with the doctor.   This way the results are current and we can discuss everything on a timely basis.

I prefer this vs discussing "old" results.

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Is this standard operating procedure?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2007, 07:35:55 pm »
I do the same as BobF -- I prefer my results as "fresh" as possible, and I don't see them until I'm in my doctor's office.

I've been through 4 HIV specialists over the past 15 years and every office is slightly different.  If you really do not wish to wait until the end of the month perhaps you should attempt to be connected to your doctor's personal voice mail and request that he phone you with the results before your in 4 weeks.  Sometimes it also has to do with how long you've been seeing your doctor -- always remember that many of a doctor's patients with HIV will do any and everything possible to skip appointments.

However, I'm not surprised that your blood results are delayed right now since it's over a holiday, and it's been a holiday that actually involved a 4-day weekend for most workers.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline HIVworker

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  • Posts: 918
  • HIV researcher
Re: Is this standard operating procedure?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2007, 07:41:56 pm »
It's a legal thing I think. Partly to stop anyone else pretending to be you - as they might have your information.

Although nothing serious and anything like your situation I had a stomach biopsy recently and they did the same to me (call you if it is urgent). I asked why and they said they didn't want to fill their calendar with appointments if they didn't have to but if it was urgent they would call me and make an immediate appointment. If not they would see me at my followup in 3 weeks.

For HIV I can see your point as you wouldn't want to be on a failing regimen for a second longer than you had to. However, as the doctor said he/she would help you right away if things went south. It does sort of put the ball in their court a little and there is the unlikely chance that they could overlook calling you - so I'd call back when the doctor was in to get the numbers myself.

They are just "numbers", but they have to be given to you by a medical professional. Say you did have those numbers (VL 350,000 and CD 358) and a nurse gave them to you. What's the first question you would ask? "What do I do now?" You would want to discuss that with a trained professional and not with someone who wasn't qualified to release your results.

I guess that's my view for what it's worth.

NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline minismom

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Re: Is this standard operating procedure?
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2007, 08:50:45 pm »
We take Mini for her blood draws a few hours before her PID appts.  We don't have all her numbers in, but we do have some of them and from that her PID can usually tell us if she foresees any problems.  Also, she mails us a copy of all the lab results with hand-written explainations if she thinks we need them.

Mum (who has yet to have said doc return a phone call since October!)
"Whichever way you throw me, i will stand"
"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today...it's already tomorrow in Australia"  Charles Schultz

Offline aztecan

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  • Posts: 5,528
  • 35 years positive, 63 years a pain in the butt
Re: Is this standard operating procedure?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2007, 10:21:36 pm »
Well, I get an order for my blood draws each time before leaving the Doctor's office.    I go in about 10 days before each appointment and have the blood drawn and then get the results when I meet with the doctor.   This way the results are current and we can discuss everything on a timely basis.

I prefer this vs discussing "old" results.

Ditto for me. Been doing it this way for years now. The only time it has varied is when other tests, like the one to find out if the cholesterol med and PI were not getting along. Then the doc called me as soon as the results came over the computer screen and ordeed me to cease the cholesterol med immediately.


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline sacinsc

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  • Posts: 353
Re: Is this standard operating procedure?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2007, 03:26:09 am »
I go in every 6 weeks right now since I just started meds and get blood drawn and meet with the doc. Then he calls me 4 days later with the results. I have a great ID doc and he always calls me right back if I call him. Usually I then go in and see after he calls me, but I am assuming that the next time if I am undetectable and everything has just improved I won't have to go back after the blood drawing appointment since I talk to him then. I don't get things in the mail either. I can ask for copies of my labs when I go in and see him, which he gives me in a sealed envelope.

I think under HIPPA you cannot call in and get them, and that's just to protect you. But your doc can call you if you have a number agreed to that he can call you on and give you information. I signed a release saying he could leave private information only on my cell phone number. So that is the one he calls.

If I were you I would call and request the doctor to call you back. He should be able to do that at least.
March 07 - Negative
May 07 - Exposed
June 07 - Seroconversion
September 07 - CD4 402 VL 118000 25%
October 07 -     CD4 294 VL 124000 22%
November 07 - Norvir, Triuvada and Reyataz
December 07 -  CD4 355 VL  550 .... guess the meds are working.
January 08 - CD4 446 VL <48 undetectable!
April 08 - CD4 554 VL <48 undetectable!
July 08 - CD4 666 VL <48 undetectable! Hporay...I have devil CD4's

Offline BreakerOneNine

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Re: Is this standard operating procedure?
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2007, 10:03:14 pm »
Here in NC you can call in and get your results.....that is what I do 3 days after having my lab work done.
poz 96 and med free til now.
Sept 2007 cd4 280 28.37% and VL 19,200
Nov 2007 cd4 230 25.87% and VL 38,000
Dec 2007 start Atripla
Jan 2008 cd4 490 32.5% and VL 119
Feb 2008 cd4 450 28.4% and VL less than 50
April 2008 cd4 510 28.6% and VL less than 48
July 2008 cd4 570 30.2% and VL less than 48
Dec 2008 cd4 570 32.0% and VL less than 48


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