“It’s an earthquake. It tears you right down to the foundation,” said Jesse Vogel of his cancer diagnosis.
Jesse is a former Epic staff member who was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer in January 2019. He recently talked to current staff about his experience as a patient dealing with cancer.
Jesse said that he drew strength from his family and was lucky enough to have world-class oncologists in his backyard, but he also admitted that the experience of being a “professional patient” was often marked by chaos and a loss of control. This was compounded by the fact that his treatment involved being seen at multiple organizations, not to mention managing his many appointments.
But Jesse had the advantage of knowing the Epic EHR being used in his care better than the average patient. He said that applications like MyChart and MyChart Bedside allowed him to organize information like appointments and results across the organizations responsible for his treatment and take control of his healthcare, a sense of ownership that he characterized as a “meaningful and critical thing for human beings” dealing with illness.
When asked what advice he had for current Epic staff, Jesse urged, “Do everything you can to empower patients to advocate for themselves.”
Jesse’s recent scans show that he’s cancer-free.