In this blog, Brian Zikmund-Fisher sets out that people have a right to know their test results and that information about their health can help them to better manage long term conditions.
He argues that although access to this information is improving, it continues to be provided in ways that patients do not understand, with implications for how useful it is to them in supporting improved health behaviours. He outlines how ‘data visualisation’ – changing how the information is presented – can revolutionise people’s understanding. The author concludes that if we are going to spend money making sure that patients can see their results, we have an obligation to change the way we display them by making the format more intuitive. Patients have a right to understand what their data means, not just to know what their numbers are.