BayCare partnership also includes health stations, hospital pharmacies
LAKELAND and CLEARWATER, Fla. — Publix Super Markets Inc. and BayCare Health System have opened the first two of more than two dozen telehealth clinics at Publix pharmacies.
Called Walk-In Care Provided by BayCare, the clinics feature a private room with an interactive kiosk that enables Publix customers to receive non-urgent medical care from board-certified physicians via teleconferencing and medical diagnostic equipment.
The kiosk allows patients to enter their symptoms and work with medical tools such as thermometers, otoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and high-definition cameras to help doctors make an accurate diagnosis. Publix Pharmacy staff also are on hand to help patients, if needed.
Plans call for 26 Walk-In Care centers at Publix pharmacies by the end of the year. The effort is part of a health and wellness collaboration announced by Publix and BayCare in March 2017.
“We are excited to bring access to high-quality, compassionate care through this convenient and innovative technology,” Glenn Waters, executive vice president and chief operating officer at BayCare Health System, said in a statement. “Our goal is to improve the health of our community by helping individuals access the right level of care in the right place. Our collaboration with Publix helps us do just that.”
The first telehealth clinic opened in December at the Publix Shoppes of Lithia in Valrico, Fla., and the second center opened Jan. 8 in the Publix supermarket at City Plaza in Tampa, Fla. This year, 24 more telehealth clinics are slated to open in Publix supermarket pharmacies across the Tampa Bay area.
“Pharmacists are a part of many patients’ wellness plans, and our Publix pharmacists have been serving our communities through a variety of services like vaccinations, health screenings, free and discounted medications, and more,” commented Maria Brous, director of media and community relations for Publix. “This Walk-In Care clinic takes our partnership with physicians to a new level. Together, we’ll help keep our community feeling well.”
The three-pronged Publix-BayCare partnership includes the Walk-In Care Provided by BayCare telehealth clinics, BayCare HealthHub health screening stations at Publix stores and Publix-operated pharmacies in BayCare hospitals.
Most recently, the companies opened four in-hospital Publix pharmacies at BayCare hospitals in Hillsborough and Pinellas, Fla., counties to provide patients with bedside prescription delivery during hospital discharge, access to specialty medications and refills at any Publix Pharmacy location. Also, Publix stores in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough and Polk counties house BayCare HealthHub stations to provide shoppers with free health information, including blood pressure, pulse, weight and body mass index (BMI).
The nonprofit BayCare health system includes 14 hospitals and hundreds of other health care facilities in central Florida, providing such inpatient and outpatient services as acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care and wellness.
Overall, Publix operates 1,168 supermarkets, including more than 1,000 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.