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Labs Frequently Asked Questions

Labs + Tests

Learn about lab tests

Privacy and Security

Labs + Tests not Available through My HealtheVet

VA Chemistry/Hematology

Getting Results

Printing or Downloading Information

Getting Help


Labs + Tests

What are Labs + Tests?

Labs + Tests is a section of the My HealtheVet Personal Health Record where lab results may be recorded. It may include self-entered and VA health record lab information.


What results will I be able to view in Labs + Tests?

  • If you are a registered My HealtheVet user, you can view your self-entered non-VA lab information
  • If you are a VA patient, registered on My HealtheVet with an upgraded account, you can view results of your VA labs + tests as they become available. Currently, VA lab tests include VA Chemistry/Hematology information

To get an upgraded account you must complete a one-time process called In-Person Authentication or "IPA." You can upgrade your account at your VA medical center or community-based outpatient clinic.


Is there any VA lab or test information that will not be available?

Yes, at present only your VA Chemistry/Hematology results will be available in My HealtheVet.

VA Chemistry/Hematology is only one type of lab test. Other types of lab tests include Microbiology and Pathology. Information on these tests will be available in the future through My HealtheVet.


What are Self-Entered Tests?

In the Labs + Tests section of the My HealtheVet Personal Health Record is where lab results may be recorded. It may include self-entered and VA health record lab information. The Self-Entered Tests are tests that a My HealtheVet user enters them self. For example blood work or a test done by a non-VA provider.


What does Chemistry/Hematology mean?

Chemistry is when a sample of blood or body fluid is checked for the amounts of certain elements made in the body. An abnormal result may be a sign of disease. Chemistry labs include hundreds of tests. Common labs include blood sugar, cholesterol, electrolytes, calcium, liver function, thyroid, and pancreatic tests.

Hematology is when a sample of blood is checked for factors in the blood and blood-forming tissues. Hematology lab results include blood cell counts and clotting tests.


What is a specimen?

A laboratory specimen is a sample of tissue, fluid or other material taken from a patient to study. This helps members of your health care team make a diagnosis. It may also help them to see where you are with a disease or a condition. Common specimen examples include, blood, urine, tissue biopsies, throat swab, sputum, etc.


What do lab test results show?

For each test, there is a range of values that is considered acceptable for the general population. Your result will be a specific number that will be compared to this range. Remember, these numbers vary from person to person. What is right for you may not be right for someone else. Your test results provide information that gives your health care team clues to possible health problems. Results may show other tests are needed to help make a diagnosis or guide change to your treatment. Lab test results are considered a part of monitoring your overall health.


What is an amended test result?

This means that the test result value changed after a result value was released to your provider. Amended results are available immediately. If you have a test result that was corrected, you should see the word Amended next to the test.


What can affect lab results?

Many things can affect results, including:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Race
  • Medical history
  • General health
  • Specific foods
  • Medications you are taking
  • How closely you follow instructions to prepare to have the sample drawn
  • Variation in laboratory methods
  • Variation between laboratories

Why does my health care team use lab tests?

Your health care team uses lab tests to help:

  1. Identify changes in your health
  2. Diagnose a disease or condition
  3. Plan your treatment for a disease or condition
  4. Evaluate your response to treatment
  5. Monitor the course of a disease or condition over time

What is a reference range?

A typical lab test report provides your results followed by a reference range. For an explanation of reference ranges see Reference Ranges (Lab Tests Online).


What is a Unit?

A unit is how the test result is measured. The units provide a way to report results so that they can be compared.


How are lab samples analyzed?

After your health care team collects your sample (specimen), it is sent to a laboratory. The laboratory performs tests on the sample to see how it reacts. Depending on the test, a reaction may mean you have a certain condition. Sometimes the laboratory compares your results to results of prior tests. This is done to see if there has been a change in your condition.


Is there information that explains what lab results mean?

Yes, a Learn More section provides general lab information and links to additional resources. You can find the Learn More link in the yellow information box located at the bottom of each VA Chemistry/Hematology page.


What should I do if I cannot find information about lab results?

If you cannot find information in the Learn More section you can contact your health care team. You can use the Secure Messaging feature on My HealtheVet to communicate with them.


Can my health care team view VA Lab + Test information in My HealtheVet?

No, they cannot view any information in your My HealtheVet account. This includes Labs + Test and VA Chemistry/Hematology information. Your health care team does not have access to any information in your My HealtheVet account, unless you share it. However, they can access the VA Lab and Test information in your VA health record.


Is information in My HealtheVet protected, secure, and private?

Yes, My HealtheVet is a secure website. The VA follows strict security policies and practices to make sure that your personal health information is safe and protected.


If I have lab tests done outside the VA, can I also view those results in My HealtheVet Labs + Tests?

No, at this time the results of lab tests done outside the VA are not sent to your My HealtheVet account. However, you can self-enter your non-VA lab results.

To do this, just:

  • Select the Track Health tab
  • Select Labs + Tests
  • Under Self-Entered Test select the red Add New button

How can I obtain VA lab results not available through My HealtheVet Labs + Tests?

You can obtain information about your VA labs that are not currently in My HealtheVet by:

  • Contacting your local VA Medical Center's Release of Information Office or
  • Using Secure Messaging if it is available at your VA facility

VA Chemistry/Hematology

What is VA Chemistry/Hematology?

VA Chemistry/Hematology is a feature of My HealtheVet found in the Labs + Tests section under Track Health. It is where VA patients can view their VA Chemistry/ Hematology lab results.


What does chemistry and hematology mean?

Chemistry: is when a sample of blood or body fluid is checked for amounts of certain elements made in the body. An abnormal result may be a sign of disease. Chemistry labs include hundreds of tests. Common labs include blood sugar, cholesterol, electrolytes, calcium, liver function, thyroid, and pancreatic

Hematology: is when a sample of blood is checked for factors in the blood and blood-forming tissues. Hematology lab results include blood cell counts and clotting tests.


What are patient requirements for viewing VA test results in My HealtheVet?

To view VA test results you must:

  • Be a Veteran enrolled at a VA health care facility
  • Be a registered My HealtheVet user
  • Have an upgraded account

To get an upgraded account you must complete a one-time process called In-Person Authentication (IPA). You can upgrade your account at your VA medical center or community-based outpatient clinic.


How do I access VA Chemistry/Hematology?

You may access your My HealtheVet test results anywhere there is a computer with Internet access.

To view your results:

  • Login to My HealtheVet
  • Select the Track Health tab
  • Select the Labs + Tests tab
  • Select VA Chemistry/Hematology

When you open VA Chemistry/Hematology you may see an alert message:

  • Select the Refresh button to see if your results have been received
  • An In-progress message is shown as your VA Chemistry/Hematology lab results are copied from your VA health record to My HealtheVet
  • A Complete message is shown when this process is done

At that time, you should be able to view your VA Chemistry/Hematology results.


Will I automatically see new VA Chemistry/Hematology results when I login to My HealtheVet?

Not necessarily. Most test results should be available in My HealtheVet after the date your report is complete. However, some results may take 2 to 3 weeks How soon you see your results depends on the test and where it was done. It also allows your health care team time to review your results.

After your lab results are sent to your My HealtheVet account, they should be displayed when you login and select VA Chemistry/Hematology.

If the results you are expecting are not there:

  • Select Refresh to view the most recent results
  • An In-progress message lets you know that your results are being copied from your VA health record to your My HealtheVet account
  • A Complete message should appear when your lab results are available
  • You can then see your VA Chemistry/Hematology lab results

What does Amended mean?

This means that the test result value changed after a result value was released to your provider. Amended results are available immediately. If you have a test result that was corrected, you should see the word Amended next to the test.


How soon will I see my results after my test is done?

After your tests have been completed and entered in your VA health record. It may take two weeks for the results to be available on My HealtheVet.


Why do I have to wait before I can see my results?

After completion of your lab test:

  • Your specimen must be processed
  • Results need to be entered into your VA health record
  • Your health care team needs time to review those results
  • Results are copied into your My HealtheVet account

If there are any issues with your results, your VA health care team should contact you.


What should I do if I do not see results of my recent test?

Your recent test results will not be immediately available. This is due to how tests are processed. Most test results should be available in My HealtheVet after the date your report is complete. However, some results may take 2 to 3 weeks. This may happen if blood samples are sent to a lab outside your VA medical center. If you cannot view your results in My HealtheVet after seven business days, you can use Secure Messaging to contact your participating health care team and check on your results. You can also contact your health care team by telephone.


Will I be notified when my results are available?

No, you must login to My HealtheVet to view your VA Chemistry/Hematology results. You may still receive a letter from your VA health care team.


What should I do if my result is abnormal?

Your VA health care team should contact you if they feel there are issues they need to address. If you still have questions, you can use Secure Messaging to contact your participating health care team or you can contact them by telephone.


Will I receive a telephone call if there was an abnormal result?

The health care team should contact you if they have any issues to address. This may be done during your appointment, through Secure Messaging if available, a letter, or by telephone.


What should I do if I have questions about my results?

If you have questions about your results

  • Select the Learn More link, which has general lab information
  • If you still have questions or do not understand your results, you can contact your participating health care team through Secure Messaging (if available) or by telephone

Will I be able to view my old test results?

Yes, you should be able to view all your VA Chemistry/Hematology results that are currently in your electronic VA health record.


Can I print a copy of my results?

Yes, there are two ways you can print your results:

  • On the VA Chemistry/Hematology Summary and Details pages
  • Blue Button custom download of your VA Chemistry/Hematology

To print the VA Chemistry/Hematology Summary page or Detail page:

  • Select the Printer Friendly link at the top right side of the Summary page or the two Detail pages
  • Select Print
  • Select the Done box to return to the previous screen

To download your data using the VA Blue Button:

  • Log into your My HealtheVet account
  • Select Download My Data
  • Select Download Only My Selected Data from My HealtheVet
  • Select Continue
  • Select VA Laboratory Results (to print VA Chemistry/Hematology results)
  • Select Labs and Tests (to print/download test information you self-entered)
  • Select Submit
  • Select either Download PDF File for a format that is easy to read and print (PDF file) or Download for a simple text format (.txt file) if you want an electronic copy or Download as a custom Blue Button text format (.bluebutton file)
  • Select View/Print if you want a printed list
  • Select Print

Should I take a printed copy of my VA Chemistry/Hematology results to my non-VA provider?

Yes, you can take a printed copy with you to your non-VA appointments. This will provide additional information for your non-VA providers and may prevent lab tests from being repeated.


Who do I contact if I have a technical problem with the VA Chemistry/Hematology feature?

You can contact My HealtheVet about technical problems you have with the VA Chemistry/Hematology feature. Simply complete the Contact Us form to send a message to the My HealtheVet Help Desk. The staff should respond to your problem within three (3) business days. You may also contact the My HealtheVet Coordinator at your VA Medical Center.