Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Two Leading Supermarkets Join the Loop Movement

Wegman's Supermarkets will be adding on-on-one loops to selected in-store pharmacies in New York, thanks to the efforts of many HLAA advocates in upstate New York. The chain also operates in Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

We encourage chapter leaders in the these six states to approach their local store managers, as well as to email Wegman's management with a brief message to:
1) Thank them for recognizing the need for hearing access
2) Request the hearing loop system be added to your local store
3) Tell them why a loop makes a difference for you

Here's the link to Wegman's comment and suggestion box.

Publix Supermarkets also just completed a successful test market of a loop system in three stores in Florida. The loop was placed at four locations in each store:
1) Pharmacy Drop-off
2) Pharmacy Pickup
3) Customer Service desk
4) One checkout counter
Thanks to the support of three chapters in each test city, HLAA Lakeland, HLAA Sun City Center and HLAA Central Florida (The Villages), this loop program is now rolling out to five other Florida stores in the Villages, Venice, Longboat Key, Leesburg and Lady Lake. Importantly, loops will be made available to their remaining stores at the sole discretion of the store manager if they see a need.

Your individual advocacy will make the key determinant. Publix has 1098 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. We would encourage anyone in these areas to talk to their local store manager and send Publix management an email to thank them for providing the loop access and requesting it for your local store with a brief reason it will make a difference for you. Here's the Publix link where you can send an e-mail to their management.

If you have never used a one-on-one loop, here is a brief primer. The loop has a very short range of 3 feet or less. The best reception is to stand directly in front of the loop panel. If the reception is not optimal, make sure the pharmacist or clerk is speaking directly into the microphone.

The photo to the left shows the blue loop panel which one needs to stand close to for the best reception. If you look closely you can see the loop microphone mounted at the cashier's mouth level just above the green Publix logo on the top of the cash monitor.

These types of one-on-one loops are sometimes referred to as "Privacy Loops" because their range is purposively short to comply with HIPPA regulations, that require pharmacist to patient conversations to be private.

If you need to brush up on loop technology, visit this HLAA website link.