Finding Sanity in the Healthcare Chaos: The Story of a Prime User

Caring Conversations are a weekly Q&A + interview series with caring people — family members, nurses, doctors. This week’s post comes from one of our earliest Prime users! Julie gives us an inside look at how Prime has helped her navigate the healthcare system. While Caring Conversations aren’t meant to be only for Prime users, we were touched by Julie’s story and knew it had to be shared. Originally posted on the Prime Blog.

Dear Prime,
Your timing couldn’t be more perfect! Just a few days after I learned about your app, I had a major medical reason to use it.
In April, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer and was sent head first into the chaos of the healthcare system. This diagnosis came as a complete shock as I am a healthy eater, in great shape physically, and had no history of this illness in my family. I am more likely to visit a chiropractor or an acupuncturist than a surgeon, oncologist or endocrinologist. So to say that I was a fish out of water in the healthcare system is an understatement.
In a four-week period, I went to more doctor’s appointments, filled out more forms, and experienced more diagnostic tests than I had in 10 years. The diagnosis process has been positively overwhelming and quickly became a full-time job to manage.
This experience did not make me feel much better about the healthcare system. But luckily, the Prime app made some of that experience a bit more tolerable and certainly more organized.
One of Prime’s features that has been particularly helpful for me is the medications list. While I don’t take many prescription medicines, I do take a lot of vitamins — many of which have hard to spell names. I loaded all the names and dosages of my vitamins into the Prime app, so it would be easier to remember whenever I had to list them on the countless forms requiring that information. For one of my diagnostic tests, I was prescribed a drug to take beforehand. It was great having that information and dosage automatically post to my app from the hospital’s online chart instead of entering it myself.
The note taking feature also has been helpful. Most forms require me to list my past surgeries. Since I can never remember which knee had surgery first (sports injuries in college), Prime helped me to be consistent in how I report that information. I have used the note taking feature to jot down questions before doctor’s appointments and to record the outcome of each visit in the app. What used to be in a big binder with lots of paper is now neatly organized on my phone.
While I know that Prime is still early in its development, I am excited about the possibilities with a mobile technology approach to healthcare. Always having my health information in the palm of my hand improves my ability to manage multiple doctors from different healthcare systems and control some of the chaos associated with managing a life threatening illness.
Thank you for creating a mobile app to help me navigate the medical system. You’ve made this crazy process a little saner.
Sincerely,
Julie

Placing all her vitamin and medication information in one place. Tracking her test results. Managing visits to multiple doctors. That’s a lot for anyone. We’re really glad to hear Julie was able to use Prime to stay in control during a length diagnosis process.

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