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Lab tests coming to Southeastern Grocers pharmacies

Retailer set to launch fingerstick testing for health screenings

Southeastern Grocers plans to roll out laboratory testing at 253 in-store pharmacies to expand customer access to preventive health care services.

Pharmacy-based clinical services network eTrueNorth said Wednesday that it has entered an agreement with Southeastern Grocers to launch CLIA-waived labs at the Jacksonville, Fla.-based retailer’s pharmacies. Plans call for the grocery chain — whose store banners include Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Harvey’s Supermarkets and Fresco y Más — to use eTrueNorth ePOCT software for the lab administration of point-of-care testing.

“Given the feedback from our pilot program in Tampa and Jacksonville, we are very pleased to begin offering fingerstick testing for common wellness screenings such as lipids and glucose at all eligible pharmacies. We’re excited to expand the range of services available in our pharmacies,” said Gayle Shields, vice president of pharmacy services and non-food grocery at Southeastern Grocers.

“Our goal is to provide customers with convenient and easily accessible programs and services that help them identify their risk of chronic diseases, and we believe our new partnership with eTrueNorth furthers that objective,” she added.

eTrueNorth said its software suite is designed to make it easier for CLIA-waived labs to meet federal, state and local regulations and provides documentation for medical professionals to track quality-control compliance.

“With the assistance of local pharmacists at Southeastern Grocers locations, eTrueNorth is making the process of obtaining laboratory testing easier for individuals,” said Coral May, president of Fort Worth, Texas-based eTrue North. “By leveraging the convenience of retail pharmacies, consumers are able to fit health care into everyday life.”

Southeastern Grocers already had teamed up with Winter Park, Fla.-based Hanson Medical Systems Inc., its medical supply distributor, to implement health tests at its pharmacies. Hanson is a specialty distributor and consultant for point-of-care, CLIA-waived medical equipment for health care promotion, biometric screenings and worksite health.

“We have been working closely with SEG to successfully increase consumer engagement by launching wellness screenings at their retail pharmacies,” said Adam Brown, president of Hanson. “We knew SEG would benefit greatly from the infrastructure that eTrueNorth provides. The quick and easy regulatory and compliance resources would be a substantial resource for SEG.”

In addition, Southeastern Grocers supermarkets will be able to participate in eTrueNorth’s eLabNetwork national voucher screening program for company wellness plans. Southeastern Grocers employees will now have access to biometric screenings at the retailer’s participating pharmacies.

“For employees who miss on-site wellness screenings, work remotely or work shifts where on-site screenings are inconvenient, our voucher solution provides the infrastructure to increase participation by providing fast point-of-care testing to employees at their local pharmacies and real-time transfer of data to wellness providers,” according to May.

Overall, Southeastern Grocers operates 526 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.

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