The connected and bring-it-to me economies are overlapping in hospitals, with pharmacies and facilities now partnering to deliver medication to a patient’s room prior to discharge.
Publix Pharmacy announced Monday (Oct. 18) that it is teaming with Florida’s Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice on bedside prescription delivery as another way to improve patient experience and save an extra trip to the pharmacy after a hospital stay.
In an announcement, Publix Vice President of Pharmacy Dain Rusk said, “Publix Pharmacy is always looking for ways to provide premier service to our customers, whether it’s inside our stores or through collaborations with local hospitals. Providing bedside delivery to Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice will give patients the opportunity to conveniently obtain the medications they need before leaving the hospital.”
Opening in November, Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice is seeking more ways to improve patient experience as the pandemic has made providers more aware of the competition.
“The bedside delivery program helps ensure a smooth transition of care from hospital to home,” said Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice Campus President Sharon Roush in the announcement. “Having prescriptions delivered directly to patients in the hospital allows them to go straight home, rather than stop at a pharmacy, which reduces the risk of delays and missing a dose at home.”
Convenient bedside prescription delivery aligns with PYMNTS data finding that patients are thinking and acting like paying customers now more than ever. Hospitals are at the center of the sea change.
For example, The Payment Cure: How Improving Billing Experiences Impacts Patient Loyalty, a PYMNTS and CareCredit collaboration, stated, “Today’s patients view themselves as consumers — independent ‘shoppers’ with an array of choices with respect to how they access, experience and pay for healthcare. Patients, like other consumers, are empowered by their ability to compare and choose among providers and services, both online and offline.”
A Turnkey Cure to Ease Healthcare Woes
In the case of Publix and Sarasota Memorial, the announcement noted, “When the hospital opens in November, patients can choose to have their prescriptions filled and delivered to their hospital room, a free service designed to ease the transition from hospital to home.”
The nearby Publix Pharmacy takes care of insurance authorizations, filling and delivering the order “directly to the patient or the nursing unit. Patients can make payments upon delivery and obtain future refills from any Publix Pharmacy.”
Moves to enhance the hospital experience have taken a front seat in the pandemic era.
According to PYMNTS’ Healthcare Payment Experience Report, a Rectangle Health collaboration, “Physicians and health systems lost billions in revenue during the first few months of 2020, and barriers to positive consumer experiences, like unwieldy payment processes or handwritten registration procedures, can diminish patients’ loyalties to their healthcare providers.”
See more: The Healthcare Payment Experience Report
Bedside Delivery Is Expanding
The Publix-Sarasota Memorial Hospital agreement is not the first bedside prescription delivery service. Other hospitals and healthcare systems are also offering to go that last mile.
Helena, Montana-based St. Peter’s Health introduced its Meds 2 Beds plan last October.
In a statement, St. Peter’s Clinical Pharmacy Manager Tom Richardson said, “Thanks to Meds 2 Beds, patients no longer have to make a trip to the pharmacy after their hospital stay. And, thanks to one-on-one medication counseling, our patients are more likely to successfully take their medications as prescribed once discharged.”
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore is touting its Bedside Medication Delivery service.
“Filling prescriptions can be a challenge when patients leave the hospital,” it said. “They may get their prescriptions filled but forget to pick them up or have to wait in a line at a pharmacy. Our program makes it easy for patients to access their medications without leaving their bed.”
As was learned from The Bring-It-To-Me Economy: How Online Marketplaces And Aggregators Drive Omnichannel Commerce, a PYMNTS and Carat from Fiserv collaboration, “Getting ahead in this new ‘bring-it-to-me’ economy means meeting consumers’ higher-than-ever expectations for easy and convenient purchasing experiences whether they are buying groceries, ordering food or making other retail purchases.”
Add bedside prescriptions to the “bring it to me” list as healthcare adds new connections.
Read more: The Bring-It-To-Me Economy