When Tom Whetsel moved from western Pennsylvania to the York area in April 2021, establishing a primary care physician was at the top of his list.
However, starting that process was a bit “frightening” for the 80-year-old retired educator who was concerned about a backlog of appointments due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I always kept up with my preventative care. … not knowing how soon I would be seen again or what that care would be like had me on edge,” Whetsel explained.
Shortly thereafter, Whetsel established care with Dr. Sonya Del Tredici as his primary care physician at WellSpan Internal Medicine at Apple Hill.
Whetsel couldn’t be happier with his level of comfort and the care he receives from his doctor, and he says that connecting to the MyWellSpan app made him feel even more at home.
Whetsel’s use of MyWellSpan allows him to securely message with his physician and the rest of the care team. Through messaging on the app, patients ask questions. Then, teams at various WellSpan providers can triage before important care recommendations are made and shared back with the patient.
“I can’t say enough about what the MyWellSpan app has meant to my healthcare. I was a little reluctant at first because I wasn’t convinced that the technology would help me,” Whetsel explained.
He added that seeing read receipts of his messages within a day and getting replies from his provider within 12 to 24 hours makes him feel reassured and cared for.
“They call me by my first name and I always get the feeling that they care,” Whetsel said.
From a physician’s standpoint, MyWellSpan is also beneficial.
“It allows us to follow up with our patients on non-critical issues without a full office visit,” Dr. Del Tredici said. “If a patient’s issue seems complex, we can recommend a visit, but if it’s simple we can answer the question quickly, saving us and the patient time.”
In addition to allowing patients the convenience of communicating with their doctor, MyWellSpan also empowers patients to manage appointments, see and share their vaccination status, check in for visits, view imaging, lab and visit notes, manage payments, request prescription refills, and more.
Excelling in the digital patient experience
Continuing to put these digital capabilities into the hands of patients recently earned WellSpan five MyChart Diamonds—the first healthcare organization in the world to achieve this designation. Earning a diamond is a significant achievement and reflects that an organization has all key features in an area turned on and widely used by patients.
WellSpan has earned a diamond in telemedicine, clinical basics, patient communications, clinical advanced & care companion, and interoperability. It is possible to earn as many as 10 diamonds.
The latest diamond for telemedicine was earned for implementing key features to enhance video visits, visits through messaging and self-triage. This not only increases safe and convenient pathways to patient care during the current COVID-19 surge, but also reduces costs and saves time for patients and providers.
For patients like Tom Whetsel, offering a safe and convenient digital connection to care can mean the world.
“MyWellSpan—and the people behind it—make me feel important,” he said.