Hospital, pharmacy collaborate to improve patient care

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As part of a new collaboration in health care, Publix Pharmacy staff will be able to deliver prescriptions directly to Beaufort Memorial Hospital patients before discharge. PAUL NURNBERG

Beaufort Memorial Hospital (BMH) and Publix Pharmacy have announced a collaboration to expand health care services for residents of Beaufort County. The agreement includes in-hospital delivery of patient prescriptions from a nearby Publix, as well as in-store telehealth centers at two Publix locations.

"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," said Dain Rusk, Publix vice president of pharmacy. "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," said Russell Baxley, president and CEO of Beaufort Memorial. "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 choose to have medications that are prescribed during their stay delivered to their room prior to leaving the hospital. The Publix Pharmacy at store 1463, 61 Lady's Island Drive in Beaufort, will fill the prescriptions, and a Publix associate will deliver them to the hospital room. Any payments can be made upon delivery.

In addition, Publix will install telehealth centers to provide non-emergency medical care at the Lady's Island store as well as store 1205 at 101 Buckwalter Place Blvd. in Bluffton.

Powered by the BMH Care Anywhere online virtual care service, each telehealth center will have a private room with teleconferencing and medical diagnostic equipment, including stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, high-definition cameras and other tools necessary for common diagnoses.

The telehealth sites will allow patients to speak directly with a board-certified provider via video conferencing technology. The provider can direct the patient to use the available diagnostic tools in order for the provider to make a diagnosis and write any necessary prescriptions.

Publix Pharmacy support staff will be available to assist patients, if needed. Visits will be $59 each and will not require an appointment. The telehealth centers will open later this year.

For more information, visit BeaufortMemorial.org/PublixWalkInCare.

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