Jennifer Watkins, the Marketing Manager at Advanced Medical Reviews, shares a personal story about health care and how it has helped her in her mission at AMR to continue to uphold principles and beliefs in ensuring quality healthcare in this week’s “Insights From The Inside.”
Do you remember the last time you went to the doctor and all you heard was good news? I do. I was pregnant and doing my “due diligence” with prenatal testing to ensure my baby was healthy. Thankfully, she was. In fact, the first two trimesters were filled with all good news. Then, in the third trimester, I developed gestational hypertension. It was very frustrating to suffer from something that only seemed to worsen with my frustration. In the end, I was induced to have my daughter a couple of weeks early and, like many mothers will tell you, the frustrations of my pregnancy melted away when I saw my daughter for the first time. That experience had moments that many of us have encountered in our own health care- an unfamiliar condition, frustration around treatment, support to endure, and overcoming setbacks.
So, what do I do at AMR and how does this relate to it? I am AMR’s Marketing Manager, and my job is to support the work we do as an independent review organization and health utilization management company with marketing that reinforces our belief statement- we believe every patient should receive quality healthcare. It’s a simple, but powerful belief statement that captures the underlying goal of all healthcare professionals- to ensure quality healthcare- and reminds our patients and providers that we are committed to the same goals.
When we talk about our health and medical history, we tend to share stories about significant life events that are marred by “bad news” and scary challenges to overcome. It could be easy to feel disheartened about your health and health care from these stories, but I see it differently. For every story of malpractice or misdiagnosis, there are countless others of miracle treatments and recoveries that are the result of dedicated healthcare professionals coordinating their efforts to meet the specific needs of a unique patient.
No matter if the outcomes are positive or negative, I believe it’s important to share these stories. First, we can learn from each other’s experiences to better understand our own health and well-being. Second, when we feel empathy for others, we open ourselves up to understanding and improving our community, as a whole. And finally, more often than not when we share our stories, we learn we are not alone.
Much like my pregnancy, we often do not know how to navigate a health issue until we have it. I didn’t know how to cope with gestational hypertension, but I educated myself and I trusted my healthcare providers and insurance plan to support me in staying healthy while I navigated an unfamiliar condition. I understand the frustration of hearing bad news, whether it’s a diagnosis or learning a treatment isn’t covered, and I also understand that the healthcare system is doing all that it can to learn both how to pair the most effective treatment with a diagnosis and how to cover appropriate treatments to ensure patients aren’t receiving unnecessary or harmful care.
The next time you are frustrated by an experience in healthcare, my hope is you can turn to your friends, family, providers and health plan to share your story so they can all learn how to support you through it and advocate for your care. For my part, I will continue to ensure AMR is an arbiter of good news and positive developments in healthcare and is fulfilling our commitment to ensuring quality healthcare.