Publix Pharmacy and Beaufort Memorial Hospital (BMH) have joined forces to expand health care services for residents of South Carolina’s Beaufort County.
The partnership includes in-hospital delivery of patient prescriptions from a nearby Publix, along with in-store telehealth centers at two of the grocer’s stores.
“Patients are looking for more convenient access to health care, whether it’s treatment for non-emergency medical conditions or easier transitions from hospital to home,” noted Dain Rusk, VP of pharmacy at Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets. “This collaboration with Beaufort Memorial Hospital will provide residents of the Beaufort community with a medical care option where they shop and eliminate an extra errand for patients leaving the hospital.”
“We’re excited about this collaboration to expand access to care in the Lowcountry and to provide a direct prescription service to patients leaving the hospital,” added Beaufort Memorial President and CEO Russell Baxley. “Our mission is to improve the health of our community, and offering walk-in care through Publix Pharmacy provides a unique way to do just that. It’s another option for patients who need care when and where it is most convenient for them.”
As part of the collaboration, patients discharged from BMH can opt to have medications prescribed during their stay delivered to their room before leaving the hospital. The Publix Pharmacy at store 1463 in Beaufort will fill the prescriptions, and a store associate will deliver them to the hospital room, with any payments made upon delivery.
Further, Publix will open telehealth centers to offer non-emergency medical care at store 1463 in Beaufort and store 1205 in Bluffton.
Powered by the BMH Care Anywhere online virtual care service, each center will feature a private room with teleconferencing and medical diagnostic equipment such as stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, high-definition cameras and other tools needed for common diagnoses. The sites will enable patients to speak directly with a board-certified provider via video conferencing technology. The provider can guide the patient in the use of the on-site diagnostic tools to make a diagnosis, and write any necessary prescriptions.
Publix Pharmacy support staff will be on hand to help patients, if necessary. Visits will cost $59, with no need to schedule an appointment. The telehealth centers are slated to open later this year.
Publix has already entered into collaborations with Clearwater, Fla.-based BayCare Health System and St. Augustine, Fla.-based Flagler Health+ to open telehealth centers in the Tampa Bay area and Florida’s St. Johns County, respectively.
Privately owned and operated by its more than 200,000 employees, Publix has 1,221 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The company is No. 5 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.