With resources and research pooled from a collective of over 700 mobile health clinics across the United States, Mobile Health Map can help you build a strong program.
Target a community
Identify low-income and minority populations who have a disproportionate burden of ill health and would benefit the most from the care provided to them by a mobile clinic.
Use our free tools outlined below to evaluate the potential impact that your program would have on your community!
Hire a culturally competent staff
Clients of mobile clinics may have a diverse background of social circumstances and cultural beliefs. Staff members who follow a “knowledgeable neighbor” model of friendly, nonjudgmental care will engender an environment of trust.
Partner with community organizations
Communication with community health clinics, rehabilitation facilities, social service agencies, and food pantries allow referrals for clients who need assistance beyond the resources of the mobile clinic and help in designing the model of the program.
Identify and validate need
Elicit input from patients and community members about their needs and the ideal delivery model for meeting them. Vans around the country offer a variety of service types, including: prevention/screening, primary care, mammography, dental, specialty medical care, homelessness, etc. The services of your van should target the highest needs of the community it serves.
Obtain and refit van
Raise money from corporations and foundations to purchase and refit a van. Previous models advocate for the van to reflect the “knowledgeable neighbor” model by creating a welcoming, unintimidating environment that looks more like a living room than a doctor’s office.
Identify convenient locations to park the van
Work with local residents to identify convenient, easily accessible locations where the van should park within each community.
Pursue grassroots marketing
Visit and distribute flyers to community partners and other organizations such as churches, schools, and childcare programs.
Add services based on local needs
Meet periodically to discuss any needs you may have observed in the community and the merits and feasibility of adding new services to address them.
Evaluate your impact
Mobile Health Map offers tools that are FREE, ANONYMOUS, and EASY to use and which help you demonstrate the impact your mobile clinic has on the community:
- Bottom Line Impact: Calculate the return on investment of your Mobile Health Clinic to show the dollars that are saved per dollar invested.
- Quality Check-Up Tool: identify the strengths of your program as well as potential areas improvement based on the 9 aims for public health quality defined by the US department of health.
- Even if you do not yet have a fully functional mobile health clinic, you can input potential data to estimate the impact your mobile clinic would have on the community as a beta test!
Additional resources to guide your program startup:
- The Mobile Health Clinics Association
- A sample profile on The Family Van done by the Agency for Health Research and Quality on how the program was implemented.
- FAQs posted on the Mobile Health Map website.
- A consulting brief by the The Advisory Board Company describing best practices for mobile health clinics.