From bringing world-class healthcare facilities to the world’s most remote locations, to ensuring that hospital renovations are completed as cost-effectively as possible, mobile medical technologies are changing the way we deliver healthcare.
Today’s mobile solutions are revolutionizing modern healthcare by allowing improved accessibility to the patient base as seamlessly as possible, and are saving healthcare facilities millions of dollars in the process.
The most widely used mobile technology is the mobile surgery center, which can be easily configured to meet a variety of needs for the commercial, military, and international markets.
The concept for mobile medical units was identified in 1981 when Congress passed the Omnibus Reconciliation Act permitting physicians to invest their own capital in healthcare infrastructure.
It was at this time that a shift began from inpatient to outpatient services. Physicians started to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into ambulatory surgery centers, but many did not have sufficient patient volume to justify building a surgery center at a cost of two or three million dollars.
Ambulatory surgery centers offered physicians an additional revenue stream by qualifying them to receive a facility fee as well as a physician fee reimbursement. As these surgery centers became increasingly more popular, and profitable, the concept was developed for a mobile ambulatory surgery center that could be shared by physicians with lower caseload volumes.
An added benefit of this model was bringing healthcare closer to the patient base.
The original design of the mobile surgical facility available in the current market lends itself to a variety of healthcare applications and configurations. They include, but are not limited to, mobile dialysis, mobile diagnostics, mobile laboratory/pharmacy, mobile breast care, and mobile ICU.
These units are used to maintain surgical profitability during operating room renovations, HVAC upgrades, operating room overcapacity, disaster readiness, military exercises, special forces, humanitarian aid, and more.
The principal use of mobile surgical facilities is for hospitals and healthcare facilities undergoing renovations and construction. These units have been designed to seamlessly integrate with the existing infrastructure of facilities and some are U.S. healthcare code compliant, state licensable, Joint Commission accreditable, and CMS certifiable.
The use of these units allows government facilities to avoid outsourcing surgery at a considerable expense, while maintaining the revenue stream for private and public facilities.
For most hospitals undergoing renovations, projects are typically phased so that only portions of a surgical wing are shut down at one time to maintain revenue. But breaking the full HVAC, plumbing, and gas systems into subsets is extremely time-consuming and expensive.
As an alternative to this, mobile medical units allow healthcare facilities to continue performing surgeries and procedures while shutting down entire surgical wings to allow the construction to continue at a faster pace. Projects are completed in a shorter time frame, and capacity is restored without having to send patients to competing facilities.
Additionally, by fully isolating the area that is undergoing construction, the risk of contamination is kept at a minimum, which can oftentimes become an issue during construction.
Mobile medical offerings can also include project oversight, policies and procedures development, medical staffing, facility service and maintenance, delivery, installation, set-up, training, and equipment and supplies. Services can range from total project management to providing ancillary components and systems.
Veterans Administration hospitals in particular have found mobile medical solutions to be extremely useful during renovations to maintain the revenue stream while undergoing construction. One of the most successful of these projects to date, especially in terms of saving money, is the use of mobile medical units at the Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center.