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Kinney steers pharmacy in new directions.

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. -- A steady stream of enhancements has marked pharmacy operations at Kinney Drugs over the past two years.

This year the chain moved to meet the needs of customers who are deaf or hard of hearing by installing listening devices to help those with such impairments hear pharmacy staff. According to Mike Duteau, Kinney's vice president of business development and strategic relations, the systems include iPads that customers can use for virtual sign language interpretation services.

"Adding these communication devices and enhanced services was an excellent opportunity for us to better care for all of our patients and their families, especially those who are deaf or hard of hearing," said Duteau.

Last year brought the implementation of EZSync, a tool to help pharmacists synchronize all of a patient's prescription refills and simplify medication management. Nonadherence and errors in taking medication are estimated to result in about $105 billion of avoidable health care expenditures annually, and medication synchronization has been identified as a promising and relatively simple way to improve adherence. In the United States, patients who rely on medication synchronization programs at their community pharmacy have been found to be 30% more likely to take their medication as prescribed.

"Compliance is supported by convenience, and it's easy for people to be noncompliant when their prescriptions are on different schedules and individual refills are scattered throughout the month," remarked David Adsit, director of pharmacy operations for Kinney. "With EZSync, our pharmacists can help their patients better manage their medications and take them as prescribed by their doctor."

The program supplements a number of other Kinney services, including ReadyScripts automatic refills; EZRefill, a mobile, online and phone-in refill service; free delivery of prescriptions; and immunizations for flu, meningitis and shingles.

Kinney also established a partnership with the American Cancer Society and the Upstate Cancer Center to supply free colorectal cancer screening kits. According to the American Cancer Society, more than one in three adults age 50 and older are not being screened for colon cancer.

Customers age 50 or older could pick up the kits in any of the Kinney Drugs pharmacies in New York state. After using the kits at home, they were to be mailed to Upstate Cancer Center for processing. The initiative was designed to help increase patient access and build awareness about the dangers of colon cancer, hopefully saving lives, said company executives.

Among other major changes at the company in 2014 was the adoption of a new corporate name, KPH Health care Services Inc. The company said the new name better signifies the wide range of pharmacy-related health care services that it provides.

Those include HealthDirect Institutional Pharmacy Services, which serves long-term-care and assisted-living facilities as well as group homes, correctional facilities, and addiction and mental health residences, and ProAct Pharmacy Benefit Management, which operates a mail-order prescription service for many employer health insurance plans in the Northeast.

A year ago in June the company named a new president and chief executive officer, Bridget-ann Hart. She succeeded Craig Painter, who took on the role of executive chairman, while Jim Spencer remained president of Kinney Drug Stores. Hart has served with Kinney throughout her career, holding senior positions in pharmacy, store operations and professional services, among others.

Earlier in the year Kinney debuted its first retail clinic at an outlet in Syracuse, N.Y. The clinic, which bears the name Healthy You Wellness Center, is the result of a partnership between Kinney, Pulmonary Health Physicians PC and Franciscan Cos., an arm of St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center in Syracuse.

The clinic focuses on the treatment of respiratory conditions, including emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. It also treats less formidable conditions, such as bronchitis, cold, flu, allergies and sinus infections.

KPH HEALTHCARE (KINNEY)

* HEADQUARTERS

29 E. Main St.

Gouverneur, N.Y. 13642

Key pharmacy executive; Jim Spencer, President

Phone: (315) 287-3600

Website: kinneydrugs.com

* TRADE CLASS--Drug chain

* PHARMACY RANK--31 in sales, 36 in pharmacies

** Full-year results

Pharmacy sales--$674.4 million *

Overall sales--$698.2 million

** Number of stores--101

** Number of pharmacies--101

** Number of states operating--2

* CDR estimate.
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Title Annotation:TSE 2015 ANNUAL REPORT OF RETAIL PHARMACY: THE CHAINS
Comment:Kinney steers pharmacy in new directions.(TSE 2015 ANNUAL REPORT OF RETAIL PHARMACY: THE CHAINS)
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Aug 10, 2015
Words:683
Previous Article:Grocer Bolsters Rx presence.
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