Labs and imaging are a vital part of care for our patients. Given that we can’t physically examine a patient’s kidneys, labs are how we judge how well a patient is doing and our next steps in the care plan. These tests influence the productivity of appointments and the timeliness of care delivered to the patient.
Comprehensive Care at Appointments
When it comes to the kidneys, it is all about the trend. Dr. Munjal will need to analyze changes over time to determine the stability of the kidneys. The more labs we have to review and track, the better we can connect the dots. When current lab results are provided, we are more equipped to make accurate and precise changes and plan for the future. In the early stages of kidney disease, changes in kidney function aren’t noticeable and the patient may be completely asymptomatic. Additionally, when imaging is ordered, Dr. Munjal is usually looking for something specific or following up on a particular condition. These images are vital to tracking any physical changes and can lead to referrals to other providers or facilities.
When labs are done on a regular basis, we are able to make sure that our patients can be taken care of in a timely manner. This can include rescheduling patients based on significant changes, both positively or negatively. Labs can also influence the timeliness in beginning transplant evaluations and making arrangements for dialysis. Imaging specifically can be useful and important in the referral process. For example, if we find cysts or kidney stones, we will need to refer the patient to urology.* If these tests aren’t completed in a timely manner, care can be delayed and more damage can be done to the kidneys.
*Nephrology and urology work together to keep the kidneys functioning. Think of the kidneys like a computer. There is hardware and software. Nephrology is concerned with the “software” (electrolytes, filtration rate, hypertension, etc.). Urology is concerned with the “hardware” (cysts, stones, frequent UTI, etc.). Nephrology and urology tend to refer to one another for total kidney care.
This website is for informational and educational purposes ONLY. While we strive for accurate, general medical information, this does not replace professional medical advice. Do not rely solely on this information. Please consult with your physician for more information regarding your specific needs. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.
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