About the Mobile Health Unit
The Palmetto Palace Mobile Health Unit is a Mathews Specialty Vehicles Coach Series 4000-40-102 with three rooms and a wheelchair lift. It features one exam room for primary care with telemedicine support in the rear, one dental operatory with tele-dentistry capabilities support in the front, and a center area computer for coordination of care, referrals, and registration. It also includes audio/visual equipment on the external area of the unit as well as onboard cellular data services.
The Palmetto Palace’s Dental Unit provides quality clinical dental in a professional and efficient manner to those patients that are eligible for our dental services. The Scope of Work of dental treatment that we provide includes:
- Basic preventive and restorative dental services
- Disease prevention services
- Diagnosis and treatment of oral health problems
- Hypertension screening
- Dental education
Preventive services include
- Well-woman visits
- Routine lab tests
- Risk assessment and adult physicals
The Family Care Program’s resource Empower Caregivers with information and support so they can better cope, make informed decisions through emotional support using community outreach programs.
Unique Financial Assistance:
The Palmetto Palace will assist by alleviating financial stress in helping families to absorb non-medical costs—such as transportation, lodging, meals—that accumulate quickly with an ICU hospitalization.
Access to Resources for the Uninsured and Under-insured:
More than 20% of Tri-County residents are without health insurance at any given time. Nearly 16% of adults do not have a regular doctor and approximately 14% of hospital discharges are designated as due to ambulatory care sensitive conditions, conditions that could have been prevented if adequate primary care resources were available and accessed by patients (RSFH). The Palmetto Palace continues to partner with other agencies, educational institutions, health organizations and companies to improve care transitions, avoid unnecessary hospitalizations, the goal of patients/ caregivers improving their quality of life and promoting self-sufficiency.
Specialized Care Packages:
Hospital Hospitality Care Kits: When families are faced with unplanned healthcare emergencies – The Palmetto Palace will provide care kits full of personal items/toiletries they may have forgotten in their rush to the hospital.
Mission: The Palmetto Palace provides patient-centered care in the hospital and after the transition home by supporting the needs of families caring for a loved one in medical crisis and to enhance the quality of life for individuals facing a life-threatening illness or chronic disease regardless of preference or background. The Palmetto Palace now aims to bring much needed services closer to the communities that need it most with plans for a mobile care unit which will primarily serve families from South Carolina’s rural, poverty-stricken Senate District 45 at the southernmost tip of the state.
Background: According to the National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses (NAHHH), the need for families and caregivers to have access to affordable accommodations has increased significantly during the past ten years. Of the more than 500 Hospitality Houses worldwide, almost all operate at or near 98 percent occupancy rate, and 40 percent of those Houses are working on expansion efforts to accommodate long waiting lists.
Research suggests that the need for families and caregivers to be close in proximity to their loved one is crucial in the quality of care as proximity or “to be near the patient” has consistently and universally been ranked by family members as one of the most important need when experiencing ICU hospitalization.
The Need: Critical illness occurs without warning, leaving families feeling vulnerable and helpless with no clear knowledge of what to expect from healthcare professionals or patient outcome, especially for rural medically under-served consumers and caregivers.
Education facilitates the families and caregivers’ understanding of the care the patient is receiving. In South Carolina, we have over 770,000 family caregivers who provide nearly 737 million hours of unpaid care each year.
Impact: The Palmetto Palace Family Care Program served more than (150) one hundred fifty families from three states, and twelve (12) counties in SC, totaling over 200 hotel nights, 1,700 hospital meal vouchers, and distribution of 3,000 care bags to local ICU waiting rooms. PPFPC improves patient care by lessening the burden associated with lack of affordable, near-hospital housing for rural caregivers during critical care times.