A routine blood test can reveal many details about your health, so they’re essential for updating care plans and keeping your overall health in check.
What if blood tests could be more personalized than the routine work you get with your primary care physician? Concierge medicine makes this possible. Rather than taking time to schedule appointments, wait in the office to be seen and schedule follow-ups to discuss results, concierge medicine tends to you with a members-only mindset.
Blood work can be a seamless process with concierge medicine. Get your test done from the comfort of your home or at a nearby location, free from any administrative hassle or lengthy wait times.
What Can a Blood Test Detect?
Blood is a critical element in your body, and it can reveal how different organs, proteins, hormones and enzymes operate and behave. With all the information we can receive from blood tests, there are many possible conditions and illnesses blood work can detect. For example, a blood test can reveal:
- Diabetes: The right blood test will measure blood sugar levels. If glucose levels are higher than the accepted range, this can signify prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
- HIV: A specialized blood test can detect HIV antigens and antibodies.
- Anemia: A physician may diagnose you with anemia if a blood test reveals lower than acceptable iron levels.
- Cancer: Different cancers will have various behaviors in the blood. Some cancers create certain proteins, while others reduce the function of certain organs. A blood test may not lead to a direct cancer diagnosis, but it can encourage further testing to confirm the presence of cancer cells.
- Heart disease: Blood work can reveal heart disease in two ways, clotting and protein production. Blood with a higher clotting rate may show a risk of heart disease. A high presence of troponin T, a protein located in the heart muscle, can indicate a higher risk of heart disease, even when a person has no symptoms.
- Pregnancy: Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone the body secretes during pregnancy. A blood pregnancy test will check for the presence of this hormone.
Being aware of these conditions as soon as possible can improve your health and quality of life. Often, the hassle of scheduling a blood test keeps us from detecting health conditions and illnesses early. As a result, a manageable condition can get out of hand. Convenience and immediacy are critical for blood work, even when it’s routine.
Common Blood Tests
When a physician recommends blood work, you may undergo a range of panels and tests. Some of the common blood tests are:
- Complete blood count (CBC): A CBC measures 10 components in your major blood cells — white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. This routine blood test can identify conditions like vitamin deficiencies, anemia, blood cancer, immune system disorders and infections.
- Basic and comprehensive metabolic panels: A basic metabolic panel (BMP) examines the levels of eight different compounds in your blood — calcium, glucose, sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, creatinine, chloride and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). Abnormal levels may reveal diabetes, hormone imbalances or kidney disease. A comprehensive blood panel (CBP) measures these same compounds in addition to substances related to liver functions, such as the enzymes located in this organ. Measuring these components may reveal various conditions, like liver cancer, hepatitis and zinc deficiency.
- Lipid panel: This test measures two types of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL removes harmful substances from the blood, while LDL can cause plaque build-up in the arteries and increase your risk of heart disease. Understanding these levels can indicate whether lifestyle changes are necessary.
- Cardiac biomarkers: Enzymes are vital to many processes in the body, including breaking down food and clotting blood. A cardiac biomarkers test measures these enzymes to determine their performance and the existence of many potential conditions.
- Thyroid panel: Signs of an underactive or overactive thyroid may require a thyroid panel. This test reveals how the thyroid is producing and reacting to hormones that control metabolism, regulate heart rate and body temperature, and manage the levels of hormones released.
- Coagulation panel: This blood test determines how well your blood clots and how long it takes for it to clot. A higher risk of clotting can increase the potential for heart attack and stroke. This panel may reveal conditions like excessive bleeding, leukemia and thrombosis.
Routine blood work will typically involve a CBC, but you may need other tests based on symptoms you’re experiencing or increased risks as you age. Blood tests are often underused when certain symptoms arise because making appointments can be such an inconvenient task.
With a concierge medical membership, you dont have to wait for blood work, and are able to obtain tests as soon as any troubling symptom arises.
Typical Blood Work Process
The actual process of drawing your blood is typically a fast process. Your appointment may be as short as 10 minutes, but it may be longer if it takes time to stop your bleeding or find a good vein. Your phlebotomist will ask you which arm you prefer, and they only need to take a small vial of blood for testing.
How Long Does Blood Work Take?
Waiting for results adds more time to the blood work process. Processing blood test results depends on the type of test. For example, a CBC or BMP test may only take 24 hours to process.
A CMP or lipid panel may take up to 72 hours. You may receive these results after processing is complete, but you’ll need an appointment with your doctor to interpret these results. If your next appointment isn’t for a few weeks, you may not see the end of the blood work process until then.
The blood work time frame is one of the many benefits of concierge medicine. At Sollis Health, we can give you an explanation of your blood results in as little as two days, whereas with standard blood work, you would have to schedule an appointment with a third party lab facility, then wait an additional 2-3 weeks for results to process and be returned to your physician.
How Often Should You Get Routine Blood Work Done?
The frequency of your blood tests depends primarily on your age. For people ages 18 to 39, getting blood work done every five years is usually enough to monitor potential changes that happen in that time. In your 40s, every two to three years is the recommended frequency. Once you’re 50 and older, your doctor will likely recommend an annual test or a test every other year.
These general guidelines will work for many people, but there are other factors that may influence the frequency of your blood work. For example, if you have a condition that requires constant monitoring, you’ll likely get blood work done more regularly. Your physician may also suggest blood work if you’re displaying certain sets of symptoms.
You may even increase testing frequency if you want to optimize your health and track how lifestyle changes affect levels like cholesterol. If you make diet or fitness changes, these blood tests can indicate if the lifestyle shift was a positive move for your health.
What Should I Do Before Routine Blood Work?
Your doctor will provide instructions for your blood work, but you can expect to take a few basic steps.
1. Stay Hydrated
Hydration increases blood volume and plumps up your veins to make the drawing process easier. It’s best to stick to only water for your hydration needs because alcohol and caffeinated beverages can dehydrate you. Dehydration may even skew test results, so keep a water bottle with you leading up to the appointment.
2. Eat a Healthy Meal
Getting your blood drawn can make you feel lightheaded if your body doesn’t have enough nutrients. Eating a healthy meal beforehand with plenty of protein can give your body the stability it needs when giving blood. It’s also best practice to avoid rich foods or anything high in fat. If you think giving blood might make you nauseous, make sure to eat your meal a couple of hours before your appointment — not right before.
3. Fast if Required
While fasting may seem contrary to eating a healthy meal, it’s an essential step for cholesterol and glucose tests. Eating a meal can raise your cholesterol, triglyceride and blood sugar levels and prevent the test from offering an accurate reading. A doctor will typically require you to fast for at least eight hours before your test.
To make the fasting process easier, try to schedule your appointment in the early morning, so you complete your fasting while you sleep.
4. Communicate With Your Phlebotomist
Address this step right before your blood is drawn. Your phlebotomist should know exactly what to expect from you during the blood draw. Let them know if you may faint, experience nausea or need a clear warning before inserting the needle. It’s also essential to let your phlebotomist know if you’re on blood thinners. This way, they can ensure you’ve stopped bleeding before you leave the lab.
Blood Work Reimagined: Typical vs. Concierge Experience
While getting blood work done may be a typical experience, concierge medicine can transform the process beyond the standard. Rather than making phone calls and waiting for appointment times to handle your blood work, turn to concierge medical providers for these services the moment you need them.
With members-only medicine, you receive premium treatment from your healthcare providers. There are three key features of concierge medicine that set it apart from typical healthcare — convenience, immediacy and comfort.
The traditional blood work experience is often inconvenient. Most physician offices only accept blood work from certain labs, making it more challenging to find appointments that work with your schedule or visit locations that are close to where you live. Once you’ve completed your blood work, you once again have to visit your doctor’s office.
At Sollis Health, our concierge model makes scheduling your blood test easier than ever. Our care providers are available to you at any time, so you can check blood work off your to-do list as soon as possible. We have many state-of-the-art centers, and we can draw blood during an in-home visit as well. Once we’ve tested the blood, you can schedule a virtual visit with a care provider only a couple days after the draw.
The bottom line: Sollis is here for you any time, anywhere. The value of a Sollis Health membership is priceless when you consider how much easier your life will be with added convenience for routine procedures.
With traditional blood work, the process is far from immediate. After spending time trying to make an appointment, you may still end up waiting at the lab until your name is called. When you have a busy schedule, these extra minutes spent waiting is time you don’t have to spare.
In addition to the lull in the waiting room, you have to wait to learn about the results from your doctor. Your appointment could be weeks from the day you get your blood drawn, putting your health needs on pause.
Sollis Health is open 24/7 with no waits or appointments. The moment you need a blood test, we’re there — whether it’s at home or at one of our centers. Say goodbye to downtime in stuffy waiting rooms and enjoy the luxury of seeing a phlebotomist the moment you arrive. When the blood work is complete, we’ll connect you with your doctor to discuss the results as soon as they’re available from our in-house lab.
Traditional healthcare aims to serve as many people as possible, so it often chooses practicality over thoughtfulness. The providers you interact with may be more focused on the job than keeping you comfortable. The environment likely feels more sterile and bustling than warm and peaceful. If thoughtfulness and hospitality are essential to you in healthcare, concierge medicine is the better option.
With Sollis Health, you can experience where medicine meets hospitality. We focus on creating a members-only experience with beautifully designed care centers, warm and kind care professionals and outstanding amenities to make your time with us inviting.
When it’s time for blood work, Sollis Health gives you everything you need to stay comfortable, even if you’re not fond of needles. Following the draw, we offer chocolate or coconut water to help you revive your blood sugar levels and carry on with your day feeling relaxed.
Experience On-Demand Blood Work With Sollis Health
Sollis Health makes medical care seamless. We’re here to support your health needs, whether it’s a routine blood test or an emergency. With a Sollis membership, you gain access to our onsite lab for blood testing and unlimited blood work. Through our services, you can stay connected to your health and check the levels that matter to you as often as you need.
In addition to our convenience, comfort and immediacy, you can count on us for a range of services outside of blood work. With urgent care, imaging services, care coordination and more, you’ll have the utmost support from the Sollis team. Get in touch with our team to learn more about our membership and if it’s right for you.