Why Should You Use a Direct Access Lab?

sometiLaboratory services are often a necessary part of healthcare. Primary care providers and specialists may recommend annual or regular lab tests to understand changes to your health.

When your doctor orders a lab test in his or her office, he or she can interpret the results, make a diagnosis and recommend treatments based on that information. At the River’s Edge Hospital Direct Access Lab (DAL), these tests are available to you—without a doctor’s order. When you use the DAL, the results aren’t provided to your doctor. How can you, as a patient, safely use this information?

Wellness Check or Diagnostic Health?

Healthcare providers go through years of training to learn what lab results mean and how to use that information—along with results from other sources such as physical exams, medical histories, imaging studies, biopsies and more—to make a diagnosis. If you receive test results that are concerning, your healthcare provider can help you make the right decisions about treatment, lifestyle changes or other steps you can take to protect your health.

Lab results are just one tool your provider uses to make a diagnosis, and concerning results don’t always mean you have a serious health issue. For example, a PSA test can show that your prostate-specific antigen numbers are high. High PSA levels can indicate prostate cancer, but they can also be a sign of a noncancerous enlarged prostate or another minor concern.

Using Your DAL Results

You can use lab results to get helpful information about your overall wellness. DAL lab results can be used to:

  • Make healthy lifestyle changes. At the DAL, you can have tests that measure your blood sugar, cholesterol levels and other markers. If your levels are too high, you can talk to your provider. He or she may recommend changes to diet and exercise that can move them into healthy ranges.
  • Save money. Lab services at the DAL may sometimes be more cost-effective than provider-ordered labs that are billed through insurance.
  • Monitor a health condition. Some people choose to seek frequent lab screenings to monitor ongoing conditions. These lab results can be shared with a medical provider to assess progress and evaluate the course of treatment. These decisions should be made under the direction and guidance of a healthcare provide.

DAL results aren’t made part of your medical record. You will have to share a physical copy with your doctor.

See a list of lab tests offered at River’s Edge Direct Access Lab and call (507) 931-2200 to make an appointment.



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