Senior medical professionals have argued that it is the responsibility of the doctors who sent the patients for the diagnostic tests to interpret the laboratory test findings for patients and that it is improper for laboratory scientists to do so.
According to medical professionals, laboratory test results should be kept confidential and delivered to the patient’s doctor, who will then analyze the data and give the patient an explanation based on his observations and findings.
The doctors highlighted that to diagnose a patient’s condition, a doctor must review and assess both the patient’s clinical findings and medical history.
Recently, there has been debate over the roles that laboratory scientists should play in the analysis of patient laboratory test findings.
Dr. Uche Ojinmah, president of the Nigerian Medical Association, stated that the outcome of a laboratory test is private until a doctor discusses it with a patient in an interview on the subject that Allub News observed.
According to Dr. Ojinmah, a clinician should evaluate test results for a patient, not a laboratory scientist.
You can see your results and collapse because you don’t know what to make of them, he said. Based on a layman’s perception of a result, you can conclude that it is poor about your composition. Results are traditionally sent to the doctor.
“Keep in mind that the doctor evaluated the patient and instructed him to get some tests done to support his suspicions. Therefore, if you ask the lab scientist to interpret the results, he will not be familiar with your past.
Therefore, it is a contentious issue in medical law. Results are extremely delicate. It is always preferable for the patient and the doctor to discuss the outcome before letting anyone else see it.
The NMA Head continued, “In reality, with normal tests in many reputable laboratories, they transmit the findings to your email. The doctor will now sit down with the patient and explain the outcome.
“Thereafter, the patient can view the outcome, but since it will be stored in the folder as a record, the patient won’t carry it with them.
However, if you require a copy for whatever reason, one can be provided once the patient has acquired ownership of the requested outcome.
Going to a lab to get a result and opening it, in his opinion, can lead to issues and allow someone else to see things they shouldn’t.
According to the NMA president, a laboratory test result is a private record that should only be communicated between the patient and the doctor.
However, Dr. Toyosi Raheem, a former president of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, said in an interview that everyone who paid for a service has a right to comprehensive information about the service.
According to Dr. Raheem, even the National Health Act of 2014 supports patients’ rights to comprehensive information about the services they paid for.
“Aside from laboratory services, you have the right to question the clinician about the names of any pharmaceuticals that are prescribed to patients during clinical services.
The same is true for laboratory services; as long as you are the one who paid for the service, you have a right to the information required to understand what you paid for. That is the basis of my first argument.
The second part of my response is that, although the laboratory has the right to inform you of the results of your test based on its professional competence to do so, you still have the right to return to the clinician with the information if you are directed to one by a clinician.
The clinician or doctor will examine you thoroughly after reviewing the results and comparing them to the clinical findings.
“Thus, it is not to say that the patient will leave and buy medications after learning the specifics of the outcome. That is one of the reasons the doctor used to tell you to bring the results back to me,” he said.
The lab scientist clarified that providing the results to me is not equivalent because you do not have a right to know what the results are.
According to him, the National Health Act does not support such.
Since diagnostic tests can either confirm or eliminate a tentative diagnosis, or screen for potential disorders, studies have demonstrated that laboratory services play a crucial role in the healthcare system – from primary to tertiary-level treatment.
According to academics, the fundamental goal of laboratory testing is the connection between test results and the possibility to enhance a patient’s health status.