Monday, December 4, 2017

Oh, the technology around the PSA

After a year or two of delays my General Practitioner practice has opened up Patient Portal for me, so I can go to the internet and view my test results. This big step in patient information should have saved a lot of time for both him and me in delivering my monthly test results.

However, for two months, nothing has appeared in my "lab test results". This is because of another great step in technology. The local laboratory office has computerised themselves with laptops and printers in every booth. Now I can't just pop my test request into a box at reception. I now have to show a special card, take another card from a box, scan that and then leave both until I am called. In the test room, the operator has to scan the cards again to bring up my details, tap in some bits of information and print labels for the phials.

It was a lot easier when I just handed in my test request. Either way, she still has to take samples of my blood. And within a short time the simple-minded report at the high tech Patient Portal would have displayed Nov 2017 PSA 39 VERY HIGH.

At least it would have, if the system had been told that copies of reports had to go to my GP. But apparently that insignificant piece of information had been overlooked. So I have had an hour on the phone to various people today trying to get that corrected.

And the system's analysis that my PSA of 39 is VERY HIGH takes no account of the fact that six months ago it was doubling in two months and would have been heading for 200 so by now. 39 is actually a reduction over the last couple of months. Thank you, Pharmac NZ, for contributing $4326.19 a month for Abiraterone which does seem to be keeping me going.

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