Patients can schedule or cancel routine appointments at any time
Sylvia has an 8 a.m. appointment Monday to be seen for a sore throat by Dr. Kevin St. John at Wheatlyn Family Medicine.
On Sunday evening, however, she’s feeling much better than when she made the appointment. Sylvia doesn’t believe she needs to see the physician.
Previously, she would have had to wait until early Monday morning to cancel the appointment.
But since Sylvia is a Wheatlyn Family Medicine patient who has signed up for MyWellSpan, she’s participating in a pilot program that allows patients to schedule and cancel routine appointments online.
It only takes a couple minutes on her iPhone to cancel the appointment. And, as soon as she cancels the appointment that time slot becomes immediately available for another patient who could sign up online.
“The feedback has been very positive,” said St. John. “It gives patients more control over scheduling their appointments, and it can be done at any time.”
St. John said many patients expect to be able to schedule and cancel appointments online.
Scheduling online, however, is limited to routine appointments and treatment for conditions such as a sore throat or sprains.
When scheduling online, patients are asked what type of visit they want to schedule. If it’s an emergent need or one requiring direct attention, they will be advised to call the office.
“Types of visits the patient can’t schedule online include treatment for anxiety, abdominal pain or a follow up from a hospitalization,” said St. John.
Elaine Reed, senior practice manager, added that all the available appointment times for a physician are listed online. If there are no available or convenient times available with your regular physician, times for other physicians will be displayed.
The number of patients participating in the pilot program has grown since it started in June.
“Online scheduling has been an appealing reason for patients to sign up for the MyWellSpan portal,” said Reed.
“It’s convenient, and it’s another way patients can become more involved in their care.”
Online scheduling also was recently implemented at Fairfield Family Medicine, Brockie Internal Medicine, Valley Green Family Medicine, Spring Valley Family Medicine and Herr’s Ridge Family Medicine.