As Veterans, we are very blessed to be able to access the services of the VA Medical Care system. I understand that many take that statement with a grain of salt, but thousands of Veterans who may be on an extremely fixed income, the VA very well may provide the only healthcare they have.
The VA Healthcare System of the Ozarks here in Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and the surrounding area is excellent. They take wonderful care of the Veterans in the area. And one of the services they offer, as all health care systems do, is a very professional lab.
There was a time when it was difficult to access your own lab results unless you requested them directly from the doctor. However, it is easy to get your own medical lab results now with just a few clicks of a button. Why would you want to do that? Tracking medical lab results over time can be beneficial for several reasons:
- Monitoring health conditions: Regularly tracking lab results allows individuals to monitor the progress of their health conditions or chronic illnesses. This can help detect any changes or trends, allowing for early intervention or adjustment of treatment plans if necessary.
- Managing medications: Tracking lab results can help individuals determine the effectiveness of their medications. By comparing results over time, they can assess if the prescribed medications are having the desired impact on their health.
- Identifying patterns and triggers: Tracking lab results can help individuals identify patterns or triggers that may be affecting their health. For example, tracking blood pressure readings can help identify potential triggers such as stress or certain foods, leading to better management of these factors.
- Empowering self-care: By regularly tracking lab results, individuals can actively participate in their own healthcare. They can gain a better understanding of their health and make informed decisions regarding lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, or other self-care practices.
- Facilitating communication with healthcare providers: Keeping track of lab results can enable more productive conversations with healthcare providers. It provides a tangible record that can be shared during appointments, allowing for a more comprehensive discussion about health trends, concerns, and possible treatment adjustments.
- Promoting proactive healthcare: Regularly tracking lab results encourages proactive healthcare behaviors. By being aware of changes or abnormalities in their results, individuals can seek appropriate medical attention promptly and potentially prevent or manage health complications.
That being said, the VA lists three ways to view your lab results. These include a direct link on your VA homepage which says “Labs and Tests”, the Blue Button Medical Reports, and the VA Health Summary.
In addition, if you have an iPhone, your VA medical records can be linked through the Apple Health app. As new records are placed into your VA electronic medical file it is automatically sent through to your Health record on your phone. We want to emphasize, only utilize this method if you feel safe doing so.
As always, we say that it is important to note that individuals should always consult with their healthcare provider for guidance on tracking and interpreting their lab results. It is important to understand your own health and its trends, and no one can help you understand that better than your doctor.