Many physicians struggle with one question: how often should I test my patients? While testing multiple times per year is unnecessary for many people, it’s completely normal for others depending on their conditions and the medications they take. There is no concrete answer because each patient represents an entirely different situation, but we can offer you some basic guidelines.

Encourage compliance

Compliance is essential when prescribing any sort of medication. Although you don’t want to wrongly accuse patients of noncompliance, it’s crucial to test chronic pain patients before every prescription refill due to legal concerns. Regular testing is the best way to avoid a lethal mix of illicit drugs and prescribed medications that could result in death or injury.

7653597 - smiling medical doctor consulting patient in bright office.Monitor mental health patients closely

Since mental health prescriptions can be lethal, patients should be tested a minimum of eight times per year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Quarterly testing may be acceptable after some time if the patient is compliant.

Make informed decisions

Regular testing gives you peace of mind that your patient is using their medication as prescribed. However, the needs of each patient dramatically change over time. For example, you’ll want to test a pregnant patient multiple times to ensure the health and wellness of their baby. On the other hand, you only need to test a senior patient once or twice a year, because they’re usually low risk.

Use your best judgment when ordering tests to make sure your patient feels happy and comfortable with your services. You can also count on us to provide you with accurate results in just two business days — making the process seamless and your job easier.

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