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Patient Spotlight: You never know when you’ll need PocketHealth

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Our Patient Spotlight Series allows us to share stories from people in our community who have used PocketHealth to make positive changes in their lives. This week, we hear from Dan, a patient who was able to expedite access to surgery on his broken collarbone by sharing his scans with an emergency room doctor

How did you discover PocketHealth?

I have a retired doctor friend who mentioned it to me one day out of the blue. He said it’s a great resource that lets you see your records online so I signed up online. I had no idea how soon I was going to need it. One week later, I was out riding with my cycling club in another county when I fell hard and broke my collarbone. I was taken to an emergency room out of my area where X-rays revealed that I also had fluid in my lungs. They referred me for surgery at a hospital out of my area, but told me I would have to wait a week  for the surgery because they can’t use anesthesia if there is fluid in your lungs. 

Two days later, I was at home when my arm started to ache badly enough that I went to my local emergency room. I shared the details of my accident and reason for surgery delay with the ER doctor and nurse. The nurse said, ‘It’s too bad you don’t have PocketHealth.’ And I said, ‘Oh I do!’ I had signed up just over a week ago and had the images on my phone from the first ER. The doctor asked if he could use my phone with the images on it and compared the X-rays they had just taken with those from days earlier and he saw the fluid in my lungs had subsided. He quickly arranged for surgery and it was done before I would have even had my consultation at the other hospital for the surgery. PocketHealth saved me a week and a half of pain from a broken collar bone by getting my surgery expedited and it also allowed me to have surgery at my preferred hospital. I was very grateful. 

Have you used it since then?

I’ve used it to access all the imaging I’ve had, as I’ve had many X-rays and ultrasounds in my life. And recently, I had a urinary tract infection for the first time in my life at 62. I went to the hospital and they did a CT scan and I could see my images for that as well. So I’ve used it a few times other than the accident.

How else has access to your imaging been helpful?

My doctor friend came over to my house and we went over my CT scans. He could tell me what everything was from collarbone break to whether or not I had kidney stones. That was a pretty unique experience. And just recently, I told my family doctor that I had the CT scan done for my UTI and he didn’t even have those images yet. He said, ‘You’ve got more information on PocketHealth than I do.’

So your experiences have been positive overall?

It was almost fortuitous that my doctor friend mentioned it and then a week later I needed it. It all just fell into place. It was magical.

Is there anything you would change about the PocketHealth platform?

I wish more people had access to it, like my doctor. It makes you feel empowered. I could read through the radiologists’ reports and know about all kinds of extra things in my scans, such as little hints of arthritis here and there. It’s nice to be able to understand what’s going on. 

Has having access to this information changed the way you approach your appointments?

I’m a very organized person. I always have a list prepared when I go see the doctor because the time is valuable. Now I can ask questions about what I see on PocketHealth. I go in there and say, ‘I know I’m in over my head here, but what does this word mean or is this bad?’ And the doctor will explain it to me. It allows you to ask more questions. I definitely did that.

Who do you think would benefit from PocketHealth?

Anybody really, especially people with chronic or ongoing issues. I think it’s a great system and it has benefitted me immensely. It saved me so much time. Just imagine sitting around with a painful broken collarbone for many more days than you need to.

PocketHealth is putting hundreds of thousands of patients just like Dan back in charge of their healthcare journey by giving them easy online access to all their medical imaging and making it a breeze to share this information with doctors and care providers around the world. Access your own imaging and records by visiting this link