Publix and BayCare Health System—a nonprofit healthcare system connecting individuals and families to a range of services at 14 hospitals and hundreds of other locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions—have launched the initial stage of an exclusive, three-part collaboration. Publix has opened in-hospital pharmacies at St. Anthony’s Hospital’s Suncoast Medical Clinic in St. Petersburg; St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa; and at Morton Plant Hospital’s new Doyle Tower in Clearwater. Publix pharmacies also are planned to open at Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor and at Winter Haven Hospital.
Publix pharmacy services at BayCare hospitals include providing patients with bedside prescription delivery during hospital discharge, access to specialty medications and refills at any Publix pharmacy location.
“Opening BayCare in-hospital pharmacies is part of the exciting collaboration we announced in March,” said Publix VP of Pharmacy Operations Fred Ottolino. “It isn’t just about filling prescriptions as patients leave the hospital; it’s about providing a continuum of convenient medical care. As our relationship grows, we hope to bring even more care options to both BayCare patients and Publix customers.”
“We are excited about this important step in providing seamless, connected care that improves health and care delivery,” said BayCare EVP and COO Glenn Waters. “Our care doesn’t end when a patient leaves a BayCare hospital and neither should our medication management for our patients. The Publix operation of on-site hospital retail pharmacies will facilitate the opportunity for continuity of medication management as patients are discharged from our hospitals.”
In addition to retail pharmacy services provided in the hospitals, two more collaborative pieces are under development. By the end of the year, all Publix stores in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough and Polk counties will feature BayCare HealthHubs. These self-service biometric screening kiosks provide individuals with free health information including blood pressure, pulse, weight and body mass index, and BayCare patients can send the results directly to their physician from the HealthHub.
Additionally, approximately 25 walk-in telehealth clinics will open in Publix locations in the four county area within the next two years. Each telehealth site will provide non-urgent medical care through remote access to board-certified physicians. Patients will communicate with physicians in a private room featuring teleconferencing and medical diagnostic equipment. Publix Pharmacy support staff will be available to assist patients, if needed.
Ottolino said, “Having an additional option for non-urgent medical care in Publix stores provides a quick and easy alternative for customers to seek treatment for non-urgent conditions. We are excited to partner with BayCare to provide this innovative offering as we continue to expand our pharmacy services.”
“We are focused on helping individuals access the right level of care in the right place, and this collaboration does just that,” said Waters. “BayCare believes that making access to healthcare more convenient through community partnerships is essential to improving the health of our community.”
Publix operates more than 1,000 pharmacies in seven states in the Southeast. After opening its fifth pharmacy at BayCare, Publix Pharmacy will operate 10 locations within hospitals in Florida.
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