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Supporting Mobile Health Clinics, Case Study Example

Pages: 4

Words: 964

Case Study

The importance of gaining access to affordable healthcare is fundamental in guaranteeing that individuals, especially children are provided with adequate medical care. This case study chooses to cover the topic of a mobile medical clinic in New York City. The mobile medical clinic not only is essential in offering its services to a particular demographic, but it also has large implications of proving efficient and effective medical care when it is needed.  In reading, “Supporting Mobile Health Clinics: The Children’s Health Fund of New York City”, it centers around the CHF that support and develops a national network of two affiliates and 22 programs in up to 17 states throughout the country. (Brown, 2010) The positive in the CHF employs and delivers a team of medical professionals such as nutritionists, social workers, psychologists, dentists, nurses, and doctors that work in partnerships with Federal Qualified Health Centers, affiliated academic medical centers, and pediatric departments.

In looking at the Mobile Medical Clinics of the CHF, they operate in 36 to 44 foot long blue vans that are designed to offer a full range of preventative care primarily targeted to children. What makes the MMC essential is that it is located in the traditional health clinics in heavily populated areas, community centers, schools, and shelters. Additionally they provide services in the time of emergencies and health crisis such as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the World Trade Center.  According to the case study the two primary principles of the MMC is to provide high-quality pediatric primary care to the underserved populations of children. Additionally to operate in partnership with high-quality local medical institution. (Brown, 2010) The author of the article is right in believing that MMCs fil the need of providing reliable and affordable access to care for underserved population that mainly involves children.

The problem with this innovative ideal in which can be a great asset to numerous individuals, it is clouded with many problems, and costly. The services that the CHF provides includes mental health, dental, and medical services to many underserved children throughout the city. Another asset that the mobile clinic provided included health education for families and children, which in the long run is proven to be beneficial. However, in providing these services it also requires a great amount of technology and information. Both are required when the mobile clinic needed to obtain patient information, as well as providing a way to safely and adequately store, share, and assess patient information. HIPAA requires these type of programs to provide security, which is accomplished, by providing electronic and physical file security. One of the primary questions involving the technology is finding affordable network communications to run the MMCs’ networks. There are additional MMCs available that are more affordable as well as newer to provide efficient solutions to the CHF.

Another recommendation as well as concern is protecting the files of the patients. They CHF uses the Electronic Medical Record system to support and organize in obtaining and securing patient information. Their system, which differs from the EMR systems, permits data exchange with outside and inside healthcare systems. They system that the MMC runs also has to follow the HITECH Act that helps in offsetting the costs of using the system, and providing healthcare professionals with financial incentives. The HITECH Act will also help in offering stimulus funds which will provide needed improvements to software integration, and help in the supporting the increase number of users. Other problems that have plagued the mobile medical clinics is connectivity. This has resulted in provided with accessing patient’s files, and other important technology. The author has also hinted at problems with the mobile networks being reliable and available for services. It is essential that patient information be secure, as well as being able to be shared with other healthcare providers. It is significant that technology used in accessing the network so that doctors and other healthcare professionals will be able to utilize the services in treating patients.

It is recommended that the MMC find inexpensive networking equipment to keep costs down, as well as affordable data transfer equipment and technology. In the past, it relied on cellular wireless networks, but now all should utilize the asynchronous multi-master database replication system. Other issues that are recommended to change for the programs longevity is replacing their generators. The current generators emit an electromagnetic radiation, which is bad not only for the close by equipment, but network connectivity. By replacing to a more energy efficient generators they MMCs will be able to cut down on cost in replacing equipment, as well as to avoid interruptions in wireless connections when providing patient care.  While in traditional medical facilities staff retention is becoming a program due to the increase in software adoption, personnel is still needed in collection physical information from patients. The MMC cannot only rely on electronic files in which they have had problems at times accessing. It is important that the MMCs hire staff to physically collect data and transfer electronically later.

The ideal of a mobile medical clinic is important even in a time in which the government is choosing to fund more local medical facilities. The importance of the mobile medical clinics should weigh positively even through all the difficulties and challenges that the program faces. The CHF is serving a wide population of underserved children that are majority minorities that do not have the same opportunities as others that can afford traditional health care. It is fundamental that the CHF take into consideration the recommendations in helping to improve their initiative that could beneficial to children in other low-income areas, homeless shelters, and other regions throughout the United States.

References

Brown, Carol. (2010). Supporting Mobile Health Clinics: The Children’s Health Fund of New York City.  Case Study 1-4.

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