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VOL. 132 | NO. 57 | Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MATA Partnership Brings Employees Mobile Clinic

By Andy Meek

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The Memphis Area Transit Authority, Memphis’ public transportation provider that provides rides for almost 8 million passengers a year, has turned to a mobile solution for its employees’ health care.

The Memphis Area Transit Authority has turned to a mobile solution for its employees’ health care – offering a mobile health clinic for its 485 team members.

(Image courtesy of HealthyHere)

MATA has tapped the mobile medical clinic HealthyHere to offer its 485 team members benefits that include annual physicals, primary care and follow-up care.

The clinics are kitted out with everything from portable ultrasound machines to private areas with space for physical exams and the equipment necessary to perform on-board lab work and biometric measurements. For employers, using the clinics comes with the convenience of choosing hours and a location that fits their workforce.

The benefits include slashing travel and wait times for employees, inconveniences that tend to be cited as among the more daunting impediments to seeing a primary care doctor and getting an annual physical. According to HealthyHere, the average patient using one of the clinics can have their physical performed in one-fourth the time it normally takes to travel and have one performed in a traditional doctor’s office.

“A healthy workforce is the lifeblood of a healthy organization,” says Gary Rosenfeld, MATA’s interim CEO. “This partnership is evidence of our commitment to provide the highest level of care that further invests in the wellness, safety, longevity and happiness of our team members.”

MATA in recent days held open houses so employees would have the chance to get a first look at the mobile clinic – essentially a doctor’s office on wheels – and ask any questions about the new services offered. Employees can now schedule appointments for dates when the mobile clinics will be on site.

MATA says it’s looking to see results from its new partnership with the mobile clinic operator that include helping employees pursue better prevention, early detection and management of chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension, as well as an increase in overall employee health and wellness, among other things. MATA also wants to see an increase in the number of team members participating in regular preventative, primary care and follow-up visits.

HealthyHere founder Dr. Bill West cites a recent Harvard Medical School study showing that a usual visit to traditional doctor’s office encompasses about two hours. After travel time and waiting, patients often only get around 20 minutes of face time with their doctor, according to the study.

The mobile clinics represent on-demand, even concierge-like solutions that are increasingly sought after by patients confronted by an abundance of information and a lack of time.

Mobile apps and other digital offerings partly fill that need. As do mobile health clinics, where patients tend to report more engagement in their health care, according to a study published last month in “Communication Quarterly.”

The Harvard study noted that more than 2,000 mobile health clinics in the U.S. provide an assortment of basic health services, including prenatal care, chronic disease management and pediatric care. Additionally, according to the Harvard report, such mobile clinics see about 6.5 million visits a year.

That study also found that clinics like the one MATA employees will rely on also help to prevent hundreds of visits to emergency rooms each year.

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