A Florida health system is borrowing a page from Apple retailing for its latest digital initiative.
BayCare Health System, a Clearwater health system operating 15 hospitals and hundreds of other provider locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions, is rolling out Tech Deck, a pair of commerce-connected retail stores that will sell a variety of healthcare wearables and be staffed by service representatives that also are trained as health and wellness coaches.
“This service provides additional opportunities for physicians and patients to become even better partners in their own healthcare,” says BayCare vice president and chief medical officer for ambulatory services Jeffrey Held. “It also allows patients to use technology to increase physical activity and monitor their health outside the doctor’s office, encouraging them to be more proactive about their health.”
The new retailing settings are built to look very much like an Apple store with a sleek interior, lots of shiny wearables on display and educated service agents. The look is intentional as BayCare looks to become more of a consumer-driven healthcare organization.
BayCare says it is the first health system in the region to introduce Tech Deck, a resource for health and wellness technology. Tech Deck provides advanced and high-tech products including weight scales, blood pressure cuffs, wearable technology and various apps that can be connected to personal digital devices, says BayCare director of innovation Craig Anderson.
“TechDeck is designed to help patients engage in their own health through wearable and consumer technology,” Anderson says. “This service, which is new to healthcare, provides cutting-edge technology that is recommended by our physicians.”
Currently, there is one Tech Deck location that sell weight scales, blood pressure cuffs, wearable technology and various apps that can be connected to personal digital devices. Service reps also are trained as health and wellness coaches and capable of helping patients buy and use a wearable, download various BayCare health or wellness apps and “coach” patients on how to monitor and share personal healthcare data with providers.
Tech Deck is the latest consumer—and digital—initiative from BayCare. The second Tech Deck will be part of the BayCare HealthHub at Bloomingdale, a $53 million, 115-square-foot health and wellness facility the health system will open in March 2019.
The facility integrates traditional healthcare services such as primary care, pediatrics, rehabilitation, imaging and laboratories with fitness classes, nutrition education and like-minded retailers to promote healthy living, BayCare says.
Another part of HealthHub is a telehealth initiative BayCare has underway with a local chain of grocery stores. In March 2017, BayCare began rolling out its branded telehealth sites to a series of Publix Supermarket Inc. stores in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties in Florida. BayCare is operating health screening stations at all 115 Publix pharmacies in the four-county area while concurrently Publix will operate retail pharmacies at five BayCare hospitals.
The health system’s latest deployed kiosk is at a YMCA in Trinity, Florida. The kiosk offers acute medical care from physicians through video conferencing and medical diagnostic equipment. Some telehealth sessions are conducted by BayCare physicians that are a part of the health systems BayCareAnywhere, a consumer telehealth service featuring a mobile app. Other video sessions are conducted by physicians who are part of a provider network maintained by American Well, BayCare’s telehealth services provider.
“We’re creating a new model for healthcare, incorporating technology and convenience to not just treat symptoms, but also to help keep families healthier.” says BayCare senior vice president for ambulatory services Jim Cote.
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