New Digital Health Options Ease Access to Care

Includes on-demand video visits with primary care doctor

A woman sits at a table while she meets with her doctor virtually on a laptop computer and discusses medication. SD Health Magazine

Includes on-demand video visits with primary care doctor

Scripps patients have more ways than ever to get connected to the care they need when they want it. In addition to the virtual care and telemedicine options patients embraced during the pandemic, Scripps now offers a variety of timesaving same-day, digital health options, including on-demand video visits with a primary care doctor, online appointment scheduling and a convenient way to check wait times at Scripps HealthExpress locations.

“Digital health is here to stay,” says David Wetherhold, MD, chief medical information officer, ambulatory systems at Scripps Health and an internal medicine physician at Scripps Clinic Anderson Medical Pavilion in La Jolla. 

“We’re seeing close to the 20% mark for our overall telehealth visits, which is pretty impressive, and we have about 85% of our patients on MyScripps online patient portal. Having everyone online, being able to schedule online and having options where you can see physicians virtually, it’s all working very well together.”

On demand video visits with primary

Scripps’ convenient on-demand video visits with a primary care doctor bring health care to patients. Previously, on-demand visits were only available for Scripps HealthExpress and with some specialists. But recently, Scripps expanded its on-demand options to include primary care.

The on-demand service is available to current Scripps Clinic and Scripps Coastal Medical Center patients who already have a Scripps primary care physician. It’s available Monday through Friday, 8 am to 7 pm, and weekends, 8 am to 5 pm. Wait times are generally around 10 minutes or less.

“The doctor you see may not be your primary physician, but any Scripps physician will have access to your records and will be able to help,” says Dr. Wetherhold. “At times, there could be a hundred or more physicians on demand. And when someone signs into the queue, they can see any of those doctors.”

Online scheduling

Patients who prefer to see their established doctor can now view all available appointment times and schedule their appointment online at Many Scripps Clinic and Scripps Coastal primary care physicians and specialists offer online scheduling, and more are adding the service. 

Check wait times for same-day service

Other digital advances include On My Way for Scripps HealthExpress visits. This feature, also available at, allows patients to see wait times for all Scripps HealthExpress locations then notify their desired location that they are en route. Once notified, staff at the selected location place the patient in the queue. 

“Wait times can be unpredictable if you don’t use On My Way,” says Dr. Wetherhold. “This gives you an estimation of what kind of a wait time to expect.”

For those who are less tech-savvy or simply prefer to do things the traditional way, Dr. Wetherhold stresses that options for setting appointments over the phone and in-person doctor visits aren’t going anywhere. 

“Patients are loving telehealth, but in-person options are not going away,” he says. “We always enjoy seeing people face-to-face.”

San Diego Health Magazine cover, spring 2024

This content appeared in San Diego Health, a publication in partnership between Scripps and San Diego Magazine that celebrates the healthy spirit of San Diego.

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