How to Choose a Mobile Medical Van: What You Need to Know

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a mobile medical van. Your needs, budget, and customization are a few. Learn the rest in this article.

Is your program or organization interested in purchasing a mobile medical van? These versatile vehicles can bring medical care to the right places for the people who need it the most. 

But if you don’t know how to get started or even what to look for, your organization could end up spending a ton of money on the wrong things. This could potentially set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars for a mobile medical van that doesn’t fit your needs.

At AVAN Mobility, we’ve been working with organizations, communities, and partners that all share our passion for making healthcare accessible to all. We manufacture mobile medical vans used to address our clients’ unique challenges. We never want to see your organization purchase a mobile medical van that isn’t tailored to meet your needs, and we hope this article will give you some insight.

By the end of reading this article, you’ll have a better idea of how to choose a mobile medical van to fit your organization’s specific requirements. 

You’ll learn:

      • The importance of assessing your organization’s needs for a mobile medical van

      • Features and equipment to consider

      • Why budgeting and financing are essential

      • Some of the common mobile medical van manufacturers in the U.S.

    What is a mobile medical van?

    Think of a mobile medical van like a doctor’s office that has wheels. They’re also commonly referred to as mobile medical units, mobile medical clinics, and mobile health vans. Mobile medical vans bring healthcare directly to communities, events, and remote areas. 

     

    The importance of mobile medical vans

    Mobile medical vans are ideal for organizations helping people who might have trouble accessing traditional medical facilities.

    Help during emergencies: When something bad happens, like a big accident or environmental disaster, mobile medical vans can be there fast. They can be customized with medical tools and people who know how to help in these situations. This quick help can save lives.

    Healthcare for everyone: Some places don’t have hospitals or doctors nearby. Mobile medical vans can travel to these areas and give people check-ups, medicine, and other important medical care. This means more people can stay healthy.

    Mobile medical vans make it exceptionally easy for people to receive healthcare. 

    Think about the following:

        • Lots of people in remote areas don’t have a vehicle to get medical attention

        • Older people with severe mobility issues can’t just easily drive to a hospital or clinic for healthcare

        • The homeless population and people dealing with mental health concerns feel stigmatized in hospitals

       

      Mobile medical vans address all of these needs and more.

       

      Assess your organization’s needs for a mobile medical van

      AVAN Mobility's Mobile Outreach Unit with Office Desk

       

      Before diving into the world of mobile medical vans, take a moment to reflect on your organization’s goals. Are you focused on any of the following?

          • Primary care services

          • Vaccinations

          • Screenings

          • A combination of the above 

         

        Define the services you intend to offer through the van. Answering this will guide your organization’s choices as you move forward. While you’re assessing your needs, you also need to figure out your target population. Let’s take a closer look at that.

         

        Identify your organization’s target population

        Who are the individuals you aim to serve? Are they located in urban areas, rural regions, or both? Consider the demographics, healthcare needs, and geographic locations of your target population. This information will help you determine the size and scope of the mobile medical van required.

        Every community has its own set of healthcare challenges. Your organization’s mobile medical van can address these needs. For example, if your organization is going to focus on senior citizens, start thinking about some of the chronic conditions they face.

        Based on that, you can then figure out what equipment you’ll need for the mobile medical van. That might include blood pressure monitors and glucose testing kits.

        On the other hand, if your aim is to provide healthcare services to school-age children, think about the screenings you’ll provide.

         

        Features of your mobile medical van

        Once you’ve figured out the target population your mobile health van will be serving, you can move on to thinking about its features and how to choose them. 

        The layout of the van plays a huge role in its functionality. A well-thought-out layout can streamline operations and create an environment that works well for your patients and your staff.

        Space is precious in a mobile medical van, so every inch needs to be utilized effectively. 

        Your organization should strategize things like:

            • What medical equipment you need and where it will go 

            • How many storage cabinets you need

            • Seating arrangements

           

          Mobile medical van equipment

          Customizing your mobile medical van with the right equipment will help your organization provide the best services to your clients. 

          Diagnostic equipment: If your mobile medical van is all about improving healthcare, you’ll need tools like digital thermometers, blood pressure monitors, and pulse oximeters.

          Imaging: If your services involve radiology, consider equipping your van with mobile X-ray and imaging equipment. These tools will help you bring the imaging directly to your patients. This will reduce the need for them to travel to separate facilities for testing.

          Point-of-care-testing: Rapid diagnostic testing speeds up treatment decisions your team will make.

           

          Making the mobile medical van your own with customization

          Customizing your mobile medical van means making it just right for your program. Our team at AVAN Mobility understands that every program is different, and we’re here to help you create a van that fits your needs perfectly.

          Choosing your look: Imagine your mobile medical van with specific colors, logos, and designs that represent your organization. Customization lets you pick how your van looks on the outside. It’s a bit like painting a picture of your program on wheels.

          Fitting your program: When choosing a mobile medical van, you need a vehicle that will fulfill all of your program’s needs. Our team at AVAN Mobility works with clients like you to understand what you do and how you want to help people. This helps us suggest customizations that fit your program’s goals. Think of it like a friend who knows what you need before you even ask.

          Your organization’s identity, everywhere: When people see your organization’s customized van, they’ll know it’s connected to your program. It’s similar to having your organization’s signature that says, “This is us, and we’re here to help.”

          Safety and comfort: Customizing isn’t just about looks; it’s also about making sure the van is safe and comfortable for you and your patients. 

           

          Budget and financing

          Managing your budget is one of the most important aspects of choosing a mobile medical van. 

          Here are some pointers on how to handle the financial side:

          Set a realistic budget: Determine how much your organization is willing to invest in a mobile medical van. Factor in not only the initial cost but also ongoing expenses like maintenance and operational costs. Keep in mind that the initial investment is the largest upfront expense.

          Customization costs: If your program requires extensive modifications, such as adjustable exam beds, medical equipment, and other upgrades to the mobile medical van’s interior, factor these into your budget.

          Explore financing options: Look into financing solutions that can help you acquire the van without straining your finances. Some manufacturers may offer leasing or financing plans to make the purchase more manageable.

          Research grant opportunities and funding sources that specifically support healthcare initiatives. Government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private foundations often provide grants to help organizations like yours acquire essential vehicles for community services.

          Partnerships: Consider forming partnerships with local healthcare providers, community organizations, or even corporate sponsors who might be interested in contributing financially toward the purchase of the mobile medical van. These partnerships can provide both financial support and help raise awareness about your services.

           

          Maintenance and training

          As you’re in the process of choosing a mobile medical van, be aware of the maintenance it’ll require and the training your staff will need. It’s important to keep it in tip-top shape and make sure your team knows how to use it effectively.

           

          Regular maintenance

          Like any vehicle, your mobile medical van needs regular check-ups. Set a schedule for maintenance checks to ensure everything is working properly. Because mobile medical vans are bigger, heavier, and have more equipment than regular cars, maintenance will cost more. 

          For example, because mobile medical vans are heavier than cars, brakes have to work harder to stop, which also means they can wear out faster. When they wear out faster, they need to be maintained more frequently, leading to more maintenance.

          Common maintenance checks include:

              • Mechanical systems: Engines, brakes, and other critical parts need to function well.

              • Medical equipment: Ensure all medical tools are in working order and properly calibrated.

              • Safety features: Check lighting and make sure all seatbelts are functional.

             

            Regular maintenance keeps your van safe and reliable, ready to respond whenever it’s needed. Read our article on mobile medical van service for more information. 

             

            Team training

            Having the right tools is important, but your team needs to know how to use them. Provide thorough training for all staff members who will work in the mobile medical van. 

            This includes:

            Medical procedures: Train medical personnel on how to use the specialized mobile medical van equipment for medical procedures.

            Emergency protocols: Make sure everyone knows what to do in emergencies and have clear guidelines posted in the van.

            Safety measures: Teach your team about infection control, safety protocols, and patient interaction.

            Well-trained staff ensures that your mobile medical van operates smoothly and delivers high-quality care.

             

            Choosing the right mobile medical van manufacturer

            Picking the right mobile medical van manufacturer is super important because they’re the team that’ll help you with your mission of bringing healthcare to people. There are a few things you need to think about during this stage. 

             

            Experience

            Look for a company that has manufactured many mobile medical vans before. It’s like picking a chef who’s good at cooking your favorite dish. A chef who’s done it hundreds of times will typically be more effective compared to one who hasn’t done it at all. The same goes for mobile medical van manufacturers.

             

            Customization

            Your mobile medical van should be unique and able to fulfill your mission. Try to find a manufacturer that can design and manufacture the van exactly how you want it. They should listen to your ideas and make the van to fit your needs.

             

            Quality and safety standards

            You want your mobile medical unit to be safe and of the highest quality, especially since you’re providing healthcare services to individuals who might be sick. Make sure the company follows the rules and regulations for building mobile medical vans.

             

            Technical support and training

            After you’re finished choosing your mobile medical unit, you’ll need help learning how it works and getting everything set up. Seek a company that provides training for your team and is ready to help if something goes wrong.

             

            Transparency

            Money matters and it always helps to work with a company that tells you how much everything will cost upfront. No one likes hidden fees or surprises when it comes to finances.

             

            Reputation and reviews

            Before you decide on a restaurant or product purchase, you might take a look at other customer reviews to see what they’re saying about it. The same should go for mobile medical vans. See what other customers are saying about the company you’re interested in. 

             

            Warranty

            When researching mobile medical van manufacturers, make sure to see if the company offers a warranty that guarantees to fix things if they break during a certain time span.

             

            Research manufacturers

            As you’re doing your research on mobile medical vans, you might come across a variety of different manufacturers. Each manufacturer always does something a little differently from the next. 

            Here is a chart to give you a better idea of some of the popular mobile medical van companies in the U.S.:

             

            Manufacturer Website Specialization Customization Options Notable Features
            AVAN Mobility avanmobility.com Mobile clinic vans Yes Highly-specialized, in-house engineering
            CGS Premier cgspremier.com Mobile marketing trailers and health clinics Yes Corporate events, pop-ups
            Summit Bodyworks summitbodyworks.com Mobile clinics and labs Yes Modular designs, advanced technology
            Odulair odulair.com Custom mobile clinics for dental, dialysis, audiology, and other healthcare needs Yes Global experience, diverse medical solutions
            Farber Specialty farberspecialty.com Medical/dental trailers and vans Yes Specialized layouts, innovative designs

             

            Making the right choice for your mobile medical van

             

            Medical Mobile Van

             

             

             

            In this article, you learned some important things that’ll help steer you in the right direction to choosing the right mobile medical van for your organization. 

            At AVAN Mobility, we’re highly specialized in manufacturing mobile clinic vans for organizations that have a strict focus on different types of healthcare. We’ve manufactured and customized hundreds of mobile clinic vans for our clients, and we’re all about helping organizations like yours overcome barriers to healthcare.

            Now that you know more about how to choose a mobile medical van, you might be wondering about which manufacturers to choose. Continue on your journey and read through our articles comparing some of the different manufacturers.

               

              Alternatively, if you’re not 100% sure yet which type of mobile medical unit is right for your organization’s needs, take a look through our article on the 4 types of mobile medical units.

              Quinn Springett

              Quinn Springett

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