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Publix teams up with S.C. hospital

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LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets Inc. will offer health services to residents of Beaufort County in South Carolina through a collaboration between its pharmacy business and Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

The partnership calls for Publix pharmacies to deliver prescription medications to hospital patients, and to establish telehealth centers in two Publix locations in the county.

Visitors to the telehealth sites will be able to talk to a board-certified provider via videoconferencing technology, Publix said in a statement last month. The provider can direct the patient to use available diagnostic tools — including stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and high-definition cameras — that will permit the provider to make a diagnosis and write any necessary prescriptions. Pharmacy support staff will be available to assist patients, if needed. Visits will be $59 and will not require an appointment. The telehealth centers will open later this year, the retailer said.

“Patients are looking for more convenient access to health care, whether it’s treatment for nonemergency medical conditions or easier transitions from hospital to home,” said Dain Rusk, vice president of pharmacy at Publix. “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.”

Hospital patients who are prescribed medications during their stay can have the drugs delivered to their rooms prior to discharge. The prescription will be filled at a Publix Pharmacy in Beaufort and delivered by a Publix employee, who will receive payment upon delivery.

“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,” said Russell Baxley, president and chief executive officer of Beaufort Memorial, the largest hospital between Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga. “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.”


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