Learn about the process your specimen goes through in our state of the art laboratories, in addition to other helpful medical information. Taking you step by step through the pathology process is another way we seek to bring you valuable information.
Q: WHAT IS A PATHOLOGIST? :
A pathologist is first and foremost a physician. Although you may not ever see or talk to one, you should know your medical care is often guided by the information and counsel provided by a pathologist. Pathologists are the physicians who examine and interpret any tissue removed from a patient, be it a collection of individual cells such as in a pap smear or an entire limb or organ from a major surgical procedure. Before your personal physician recommends a course of therapy, he or she will often rely upon the data supplied by a pathologist. Also, pathologists are responsible for insuring that the clinical laboratory is providing accurate and timely analysis of blood, urine, and other specimens. Pathologists often provide advice to other physicians regarding which laboratory tests are appropriate for your particular condition. After medical school, each pathologist in The Delta Pathology Group, L.L.C. pursued residency training in both anatomic and clinical pathology. Pathology residencies are now four years in length. Some of the members of Delta Pathology also participated in additional years of training in various subspecialty fellowships. The Delta Pathology goal of providing as timely and accurate information as possible to your physician often involves the assistance of many skilled and highly trained employees. Despite the varied responsibilities and activities of our practice, our focus is centered on one aspect: the patient.
We are located in the Shreveport-Bossier area as well as Alexandria and Monroe. We also serve some of Arkansas and Texas. Pathologists from Delta Pathology are located in several of the major institutions and regularly visit the many smaller hospitals served by the group. We are available on a 24 hour seven day a week basis to all of the institutions. We are on call for consultation by your physicians during the same hours.
Increasingly, contracts with managed care providers or hospitals where the patient is operated upon dictate where the tissue will be sent. Pathologists are a vital part of the diagnosis and treatment team. If there are difficulties in diagnosis or questions that affect treatment, the surgeon can more quickly talk directly to the pathologist on the case if he is local. Instead of trying to talk to some unknown voice in a distant lab about an important diagnosis the surgeon can talk to someone he knows and respects, someone whose work he trusts through experience. The pathologist is often a continuing consultant on cases while the treatment is proceeding and immediate availability is a plus.
The pathologists are trained in the many disciplines of pathology. We have fellowship-trained specialists in several fields and special interests in many of the non-fellowship disciplines. We maintain an internal consultation system and, where it is felt that an outside opinion is required, we have a network of nationally known consultants to whom we refer difficult cases.
The primary physician may refer a patient to another physician or hospital, or, a patient may move or seek treatment at some hospital not served by Delta Pathology. We will provide reports and tissues to them. We ask that properly signed requests for information be presented to us before we release the information. These generally include a request from the local physician or from the consulting physician at the distant facility.
Confidentiality of medical records is important. It is impossible for us to know each of the patients as well as their primary physicians know them. Therefore, we make it a practice to provide the diagnostic report to the treating physician and ask that the patient contact them for the answers to their questions. This way we can avoid situations where it is difficult to know if the reports are going to the correct persons. Also, it is often best to report diagnoses in light of the complete medical history that is available to the primary physician.
In most cases patients, or their insurers, will receive a separate bill for the professional and technical services provided by The Delta Pathology Group, L.L.C. for both tissue studies and for clinical laboratory services. The bill will be mailed and handled by our billing office. We have a full time staff of professional people in our office to answer questions and to provide assistance with billing questions. These professionals are trained to assist with insurance questions also. We have contracts with many managed care providers who are listed elsewhere on our web site. We accept most standard insurance.
The partners of Delta Pathology recognize that medicine is a dynamic field and that new tests and procedures are common. We realize also that new modes of treatment require new information from pathology. With those facts in mind the partners in Delta Pathology regularly participate in local and national conferences both as attendees and as presenters. We participate in national pathology organizations in important positions that add to our knowledge base and allow us to add to the national base. We hire the best technical and professional employees that we can find and encourage them to attend continuing medical education programs as well as to participate in internal programs. We subscribe to numerous educational programs that provide study in our lab or via dial up networks.