Geographical Influence of Mobile Clinics in the Southern United States

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Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy

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© 2020, Springer Nature B.V. To develop a mobile clinic influence index, which could allow mobile clinic managers to prioritize geographic regions and allocate resources systematically. The mobile clinic primary care service index was constructed taking into account miles traveled by the mobile clinic, the speed of the mobile clinic, number of primary care providers available in a primary care service area (PCSA), the total population in a PCSA, and the number of primary care providers per mobile clinic program. To illustrate the application of the mobile clinic influence index, we use the case of selected primary care mobile clinic programs operating in North Carolina and Florida. A survey of selected mobile clinic programs from Texas, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina, in rural and urban zip codes. PCSAs in various counties in North Carolina and Florida experienced varying degrees of additive effects of having mobile clinic providers service these areas. The mobile clinics in these counties were therefore influential in delivering critical primary healthcare services to at-risk populations. The index provides a valuable unit of measure to enable program managers of primary care mobile clinics to allocate resources as needed.