Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers about Mobile Health Map. Don’t see your question here? Email us at MobileHealthMap@hms.harvard.edu and we will answer your questions and provide any guidance you need. Your question may even end up in this FAQ to help others!
Frequently Asked Questions
Mobile Health Map is more than a website. It is a virtual network that shows the impact of mobile health clinics on the people and communities you serve. It is also an online portal with tools to help clinics like yours easily get useful and relevant information to show your success in meeting health needs within your community and within the larger healthcare system.
Joining Mobile Health Map is free and easy to do. Once you register, you can begin using the online tools by entering your data. Mobile Health Map will quickly calculate important statistics – like return on investment (ROI) and number of life years saved—that can be used to demonstrate your program’s worth to funders and community leaders.
As part of the Mobile Health Map network, your data will also be pooled with data from other mobile clinics across the nation to show the impact of mobile health services on our healthcare system overall. Currently, over 700 clinics across the country have joined Mobile Health Map. With an estimated 2000 clinics out there, our aim is to double the number of clinics joining the network over the next year. With your participation, we can work together to grow and expand the strength of local programs and the promise of mobile health as a vital healthcare service sector.
Mobile Health Map is an online portal with tools to help your clinic access useful and relevant information and show impact within your community and the larger healthcare system. You can easily use these tools along with research, resources links, and stories to advocate support for your mobile clinic.
The Find Clinics tab is an interactive map that allows you to connect and collaborate with other clinics in your area.
The Tools & Resources tab can be used to find links to research and resources that set the context for the mobile health industry in the U.S. as well as examples on what clinics are doing in their local communities to find success. You can also begin entering data and using our analytic tools. The Quality Check-Up is a quick 20-minute assessment that measures your program’s success and opportunities for improvement. Developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Quality Check-Up is a series community health indicators that define quality in community health programs.
You can also use our Impact Tool to figure out the Return on Investment (ROI) for your clinic. The Impact Tool shows how each dollar invested in your program saves your community money on associated health care cost.
To learn more about starting a mobile health clinic in your community visit the Mobile Healthcare Association. As the professional association for mobile health clinics nationally, they run a day long intensive training each year on how to start a mobile clinic.
The Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) website includes profiles of model programs and best practices in mobile health.
Where can I learn more about best practices for mobile health clinics?
Mobile Health Map is designed to share best practices and research findings that will help mobile health clinics build their capacity to serve their communities as well as advocate for increased funding to help support their services.
To learn more about best practices for mobile health clinics click on the Impact tab at the top of the page. You will find resources on best practices and support to help your clinic, as well as real life examples and stories from your peers running health clinics across the country. We hope that these stories will inspire you to connect directly with your peers to share ideas and build a network of support with among mobile clinics.
You can also go to the Find Clinics to search for clinics by geographic location, services provided, and population served to reach out and connect on similar issues of interest.
We also hope you will share your story on Mobile Health Maps to inspire others and highlight your successes and challenges.
Mobile Health Map is designed to support continued research on the effectiveness of mobile health clinics and the role they play in improving access, quality and cost of care to our communities and the broader healthcare system. The Impact section of our website includes research studies on the efficacy of mobile health clinics focusing on prevention, risk assessment, and chronic disease management.
Mobile Health Map is designed to support continued research on the effectiveness of mobile health clinics and the role they play in improving access, quality and cost of care to our communities and the broader healthcare system. The Impact section of our website includes research studies on the efficacy of mobile health clinics focusing on prevention, risk assessment, and chronic disease management. You can find these papers under the literature review.
Have a research project or paper to share? Please contact us so we can add your research to the growing body of research and support for the mobile health sector.
The Program Impact is calculated using the types of services provided by your mobile clinic and the cost-effectiveness of those services. (1) . The full list of preventive services can be found here with detailed references that explain how cost-effectiveness was calculated for each service:
Cost- effectiveness is measured in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), a standard measure that takes into account both reduced mortality rates and improvements in quality of life. (2). A QALY is valued at $70,000.
Program Impact = # services provided x QALYs per service x $70,000
1. Maciosek, Coffield, Edwards, Flottemesch, Goodman, & Solberg. (2006). Priorities Among Effective Clinical Preventive Services: Results of a Systematic Review and Analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 31(1), 52-61.
2. Maciosek, Edwards, Coffield, Flottemesch, Nelson, Goodman, & Solberg. (2006). Priorities Among Effective Clinical Preventive Services: Methods. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 31(1), 90-96.
System Impact estimates the number of unnecessary emergency department visits that are avoided due to patients visiting your clinic instead of the emergency department (1) . The number of avoided emergency department visits is multiplied by the average cost of an emergency department visit in your region. (2) .
System Impact = Average cost of an ED visit Number of ED visits avoided
1. Song, Z., Hill, C., Bennet, J., Vavasis, A., & Oriol, N. (2013). Mobile clinic in Massachusetts associated with cost savings from lowering blood pressure and emergency department use. Health Affairs (Project Hope), 32(1), 36-44.
2. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Division of Health Care Finance and Policy. Massachusetts health care cost trends: efficiency of emergency department utilization in Massachusetts [Internet] Boston (MA): The Division; 2012. Aug.
Your program’s Bottom Line Impact is the combination of system impact calculations as well as program impact calculations. In other words, it is the combination of costs saved from avoided emergency room visits and the number of quality-adjusted life years that were determined from the types of preventative services provided by the mobile clinic.
Bottom Line Impact = System Impact + Program Impact
The return on investment portion of the bottom line impact display shows the ratio between the total cost savings provided by the mobile clinic and the total cost of running the clinic.
Return on investment = (System Impact + Program Impact) / (Total Program Costs)
A high return on investment shows that your program provides a high value to the surrounding community in relation to the level of investment in your clinic.
The Quality Check-Up tool is a survey that defines five of the nine aims of public health quality – as outlined by the Department of HHS Office of Healthcare Quality (OHQ) – and describes strategies to achieve them. The aim of the Quality Check-Up tool is threefold: first, to educate MHCs about public health quality language and to foster an environment of public health quality. Second, to identify public health strengths that can be shared with funders and partners – these are strategies that programs currently practice. Finally, to identify quality improvement goals that can be used for strategic planning – these are strategies that programs plan to do more of or plan to improve upon in the next 12 months.