Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 18, 2013

KDMC pharmacy kiosk in works for Ashland

Carrie Stambaugh
CNHI News Service

ASHLAND — King’s Daughters Medical Center could soon add a drive-thru pharmacy kiosk to its Ashland campus.

The idea cleared an initial hurdle on Thursday night when Ashland City Commissioners approved allowing the kiosk to impede on the public right-of-way on Bath Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets.

The kiosk would be connected to the hospital’s onsite pharmacy, King’s Daughters Family Pharmacy, now located within the medical center. Tubes, similar to those used at banks, would be used to transport the drugs from inside the hospital to the manned kiosk, said Kim McCann, an attorney representing KDMC on the issue.

The tubes would cross Bath Avenue via the existing skywalk that connects the hospital to its parking garage and would not require any changes to existing city-owned infrastructure in the area, said McCann.

Commissioners unanimously enacted an ordinance allowing the encroachment on Tuesday, despite raising concerns earlier in the process about the kiosk’s affect on traffic and parking in the area.  The installation of the kiosk would eliminate a handful of parking places along the street, but KDMC officials said they believe it will ultimately help alleviate congestion by preventing many pharmacy customers from having to find parking go into the building.

There is no timeline for construction of the kiosk.

“We are in the beginning stages of looking to expand our pharmacy. We do not have a timeline for it yet. We’re not positive we are even going to pursue that, but it is looking likely,” said Tom Dearing, a spokesman for KDMC.

Dearing said the kiosk is part of the hospital’s larger plans to improve patient services as they relate to the pharmacy. Some measures are already being put into place, he said.

For example, the hospital just began a pilot program of filling and delivering prescriptions to the hospital rooms of patients who are about to be discharged. Pharmacists, Dearing said, are looking for ways to make getting medications easier for patients.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.