Recently, there has been an increasing focus on bringing essential health services to rural areas. Historically, rural communities are underserved, populated by the elderly or poor, and are located where transportation is an issue. The difficulty in accessing healthcare has been compounded further by an emerging tragic socioeconomic trend – many of the few remaining rural hospitals are closing.
Driving far for medical care takes planning and money. Plus getting time off from work can make prioritizing self-care challenging. As a result, routine care appointments are postponed or indefinitely delayed. When preventative visits are missed, the incidence of acute health scenarios rises. At that point, rural patients seek attention for critical care in emergency rooms and hospital beds.
Preventative care saves lives by extending lives and quality of life – while saving money for the patient, the insurer, and the municipality. Emergency room visits are costly to the patient’s long-term health and the financial health of supporting local governments (especially where Medicaid and Medicare are involved). But there is a way to give rural residents a better shot at better health outcomes: mobile healthcare delivery that comprises diagnostics, clinical services, lifestyle coaching, and more.
Mobile healthcare offers a solution to the rural healthcare crisis
Mobile clinical care brings essential health services like dental, audiology, radiology, and general health screenings where needed most. But not all mobile clinical units are alike. Some people think it’s easy to outfit a trailer with basic clinical equipment, with an overemphasis on appearance and not performance. But quality healthcare depends on mobile units built for precise clinical delivery, privacy, security, and infection/sterilization standards – and a partner with expertise in delivering quality healthcare under the most challenging destination and environmental scenarios.
Get crucial answers before you book a mobile unit
Here are some questions to ask when evaluating the capability and expertise of a mobile healthcare partner.
- What is the quality of the mobile unit? Ask about how equipment is transported, protected, and properly calibrated for service delivery.
- Is the company properly licensed and insured?
- Does the company have the appropriate accreditation for each state where (or government program for which) services will be delivered?
- Does the company have experience meeting your program’s compliance or mandate requirements?
- What staff will be required, and how is each member of the delivery team trained? Does the company provide the entire team – from program ops to clinical assistance?
- What are the company’s experience and demonstrable track record in providing mobile healthcare?
- What infection control protocols are in place? How is the unit cleaned between patients? What type of sterilization methods are used?
- How is patient confidentiality maintained? How will medical records be created, updated, shared, and protected?
- What safety measures are in place, both within the trailer and onsite?
- What supplies besides clinical apparatus and instruments does the company provide?
- What is the turnaround time for service?
- What kind of power sources are required?
- Will the unit be a cookie-cutter solution, or can it be customized to your program?
- What fail-safes are in place to ensure uninterrupted, high-quality service delivery?
The best partners are detail-obsessed and logistics-driven
In addition to a painstakingly equipped, fully-functional unit, the success of mobile healthcare events hinge on the expert execution of the most minute details. This includes planning for the rigors of travel and adverse weather. For example, what condition are the roads en route? How might that impact the calibration of the medical equipment once on site? You want the insight and experience of hands-on field operators determining the ultimate build-out of the unit and onsite plan to meet your specific event uptime and performance benchmarks.
Doing your homework + asking the tough questions = a flawless mobile group healthcare event
When choosing a mobile healthcare partner, it’s crucial to complete your due diligence and ask the right questions. Not all mobile units (and partners who provide them) are created equal, and you want to ensure you get quality care from experienced professionals. With so many factors to consider, we hope this list will help you gain a greater understanding of what’s required for your group healthcare event’s success.
Contact us today to explore how Solvere Healthcare’s mobile fleet fits in your plan.