The benefits and blessings of virtual care

Last Modified: 1/16/2023

Virtual Health Diane story

Virtual health care options have come a long way in the last few years, allowing many to safely and conveniently connect with a provider to receive the quality care they deserve. Diane Otolski, a long-time Parkview patient, shared how she first became acquainted with Parkview Virtual Health and the many care options it has to offer.

Getting started

Diane Otolski has been a loyal Parkview Health patron for many years, with most of her providers residing within the health system. As she shared the details of a recent health journey, she proudly boasted that she was fortunate to see almost all of her doctors through the various virtual care options that Parkview offers.

Not always savvy with technology, she admitted that her daughter showed her the ropes. “My daughter helped me get started with virtual health,” she said. “She showed me how to use MyChart and the other virtual options available when I had appointments with my PPG providers.”

As Diane began to utilize Parkview’s virtual care options more and more, she found great comfort and convenience in the flexibility they presented compared to traditional healthcare methods. “I really like using virtual visits because I don’t have to go into the office,” she confessed. “Now, I know that sounds crazy, but I love that I don’t have to leave my home or wonder how I will get to the office. I don’t have to fight traffic, deal with weather or worry that I might be exposed or expose others to germs, especially over the last few years with COVID.”

While not all patients are as comfortable with virtual visits as Diane, she quickly pointed out that from start to finish, she has always received the same level of exceptional care virtually that she has with her in-person visits.

“It doesn’t matter if I have a scheduled video visit or if I’m utilizing the Virtual Walk-in Clinic; all my virtual visits are confidential and private,” Diane said. “When speaking with a provider virtually, I know I have their undivided focus and attention without interruption. And if I need something extra or have a question later, after my appointment, I don’t have to call the office or wait on the phone. I can just leave a message in MyChart.”

A recent visit

Diane’s most recent experience with Parkview Virtual Care occurred this past December. Upon returning from her mother’s funeral, she started to feel unwell. She decided to make an appointment with one of her providers.

“I was exposed to so many different people and germs during the funeral, so when I started feeling sick on the way back, I knew I probably caught something from someone there,” Diane said.

Initially, Diane had made an appointment to see Brooke Bohnstedt, NP, PPG - Family Medicine & Internal Medicine, to discuss her symptoms and see if there was anything she could do to help her find relief. However, as her appointment drew near, Diane didn’t have the energy to venture out to her local PPG office. “I was exhausted and couldn’t get into the office to see Brooke,” she confessed. “So, a day before my appointment, I was able to easily switch it to a virtual visit instead, and I was still able to see Brooke. It was such a blessing!”

Advice for hesitant users

Diane knows that not all visits can be virtual. At times, in-person visits are necessary, but if she has the choice, she will always choose virtual and urges others to do the same.

“Don’t get discouraged or be afraid to ask for help,” Diane encouraged. “It might seem overwhelming at first, but in my experience, the staff, nurses and providers were always ready and willing to help me, especially as I worked my way through the first couple of times. Learning something new always takes a little effort, but the benefits are such a blessing.”

Helpful resources

For more information or to learn about your virtual care options, please go to Parkview.com/VirtualHealth. You can find helpful how-to videos and answers to your frequently asked questions.

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