Port-A-Clinic Working On The Solution
Several solutions were considered when determining the best way to tackle the difficult problem of a distributed workforce. The differing natures of the target companies made it relatively difficult to develop a solution which would comply with nearly all of them. Options such as building a small-scale clinic at each location and developing a centralized clinic which could be shared by several locations were considered but quickly eliminated for various reasons. Finally, it was decided that rather than having the patients come to the clinic, the clinic would come to the patients.
A number of strategies were considered for mobilizing an on-site clinic. At first, consideration was given to a kind of “clinic in a box” idea. This would consist of an easily transportable storage unit which would hold all of the necessary equipment to perform whatever procedures were deemed necessary for each location. The nurse could then travel from one location to another utilizing his or her “clinic in a box” in order to treat the patients. While this was a feasible concept, the ideal had several flaws. Perhaps the biggest drawback to this idea was the necessity to reserve floor space for use as a clinic. For this reason, an externally located mobile clinic was preferred.
The final solution needed to be based upon a relatively small mobile structure that could be easily transported from one location to another. For this reason, a 20-foot shipping container was selected to serve as the outer shell of the clinic. Shipping containers are known for their durability, portability, and versatility. They are a standard size and thus can be loaded on various transportation media including trucks, trains, and barges. They are made to withstand harsh weather conditions and can even be climate controlled.
A restroom and utilities closet are located in the rear of the storage container. The restroom will contain a toilet and a shower which can be used for various clinical purposes including urine and stool sampling for chemical analysis. The utility closet will house various utilities such as a power source, a clean water source, and heating and air conditioning unit. The addition of the restroom and utility closet will make the storage container much more useful as a clinic.
Another set of qualities which were desired in the final solution were modularity and adaptability. While primary care will be the main form of treatment exercised within the mobile clinic, there may be instances when a more specialized design would be required. From mammograms to vaccinations to chemical decontamination, a vast number of unique treatments would be possible as a result of this modular design. In the final solution, every piece of furniture is movable and removable. In the “standard” configuration, there is a single bed upon which the patient could lie. Should a rapid, large-scale vaccination be required, the bed could be removed and three small semi-private booths could be installed in order to accommodate rapid patient succession. The physician’s desk could be replaced with cabinets to increase the storage capacity if necessary. The modular furniture adds great depth to the flexibility of the mobile clinic.
The furniture is not all that is modular in this design, however. The utility closet plays a major role in the mobile clinic’s modularity. The standard setup will consist of a mid-sized power generator and some fresh water with which the nurse can wash his or her hands and flush the toilette. This, too, can be altered to fit many different situations. For example, if more power is required to power x-ray equipment, the water source can be replaced by a larger generator. Conversely, in the case of a chemical spill, more water would be preferential in order to rinse off in the restroom.