If my scans are completed and the results are available, don't I have a right to know?
Yes, you have a right to know your test results.
But most patients really want more than just the results: They also want to know what any abnormal results mean. How serious is that? How sick am I? What's going to happen? What decisions do I have to make now? What options do I have?
From the patient perspective, these are the choices:
1) Obtain results immediately from a staff member or online portal, even though you will have to wait for an appointment with--or call from--your physician to learn the interpretation and recommendations regarding any abnormalities.
2) Wait to learn the results from your physicians, who can immediately interpret any abnormal results in the context of your care and can make recommendations.
Which is best depends on what is being tested, the clinical situation, your needs, and your relationship with your physician.
Generally speaking, patients can be harmed by learning unwanted test results without an opportunity to immediately discuss those results with their physicians. Personally, even if I have a legal right to know my scan results, as a Healthy Survivor I want to learn results when I can also learn what they mean and what I can do.
That said, as both a physician and a patient, I won't be satisfied until our medical system does everything possible to minimize patients' waiting, without compromising quality of test results and how those results are disclosed.