Why Patient Success: Navigating Post-Op Recovery

Why Patient Success is a series from Luma staff about their experiences as patients and caregivers navigating the healthcare system.

“I initially came to healthcare out of a passion for sports,” said Maggie Hanlon, senior manager of operations at Luma. “But it wasn’t until I sustained an injury during a sprint that I truly understood how hard it can be to navigate the healthcare journey as a patient.” 

From a young age, Maggie was interested in health from a sports perspective – she played soccer and was a competitive sprinter for a decade – and was excited by technology. “My brother convinced my parents that we needed a computer, even though that was uncommon in the early 90’s,” Maggie said. She eagerly switched majors to study health informatics after discovering the field at university, and gained hands-on experience working as a project analyst for the University Health Network in Toronto.

In 2015, during Maggie’s graduate program, she became a patient herself after tearing her meniscus. “I got the impression the orthopedic surgery I needed would be no big deal, but I wasn’t prepared for how intense recovery would be,” Maggie said. “I realized I didn’t know how to gauge normal symptoms of recovery or when to call my doctor.”

She recalled scheduling a treatment for her knee before commuting to work, not realizing that she’d be in significant pain later that afternoon. “I could have planned ahead and scheduled things differently if I had known,” she said. 

Her mum flew to Toronto to help Maggie take care of daily tasks after surgery, but recovery took longer than expected, and Maggie struggled after her mum returned home. “I needed someone to check in and ask ‘how’s your pain level?’ or ‘how is your wound healing?’, but there was no patient-to-provider texting,” she said. “If I needed to get in touch with my doctor, it was by phone calls.” The experience showed Maggie firsthand how much patients rely on hands-on guidance from their care teams. 

At Luma, Maggie has made it her mission to get the right information to patients. “When I started as a customer success manager, I realized that the right technology and processes could improve experiences like mine,” she said. Her experiences as a project analyst, and a patient herself, have helped her build workflows and technology to meet customers’ unique needs. “I love technology and computers, but I’m always trying to keep the patient’s real-life experience top of mind,” Maggie said. 

“Patient Success is thinking about what we can do for a patient’s care journey, instead of leaving it to them to be engaged,” Maggie said. In her operations role, she’s dedicated to helping patients be more successful across the Luma community. “Anything we can do to make other peoples’ lives easier, and in a way that scales, that’s powerful.”