September 14, 2013
Occupational medicine company Brown Medical of Wheelersburg, has been growing steadily over the past 10 years and now has a mobile medical unit to add to its expanding list of capabilities. Brown did not want to disclose the price of the fully equipped medical RV, but director of marketing, field services and staff, Matthew Hale did say that the cost was around that of a brick and mortar office building.
The mobile medical unit has all of the basic medical office essentials inside a smartly designed RV, digital X-Rays, EKG machines, FIT testing, blood testing, drug testing, an audio booth and more. Everything is operated by individual laptops and powered by powerful Wi-Fi. Tests can be read onsite and can also be sent to local radiologists for more information. The entire unit is powered by a generator that pulls fuel directly from the gas tank. The unit runs on a gallon of gas an hour.
The mobile office is designed to house everything the worksite medical team needs when traveling to their various jobs all over the country. Guaranteed work space has been a large issue Brown Medical has faced in the past with job sites. The RV gives them the capability to pull up, park the RV, level it and have a clean and available office anywhere they need it.
“When they [energy generating companies] want something, they want it quickly,” Hale said. “If their generating unit isn’t producing energy, then they aren’t making money. If a unit goes down, they might call and ask for medical as soon as possible, to be able to get to work on fixing it. If a company calls from Kansas it is now as simple as shooting out that way in the unit and setting up.”
In the past, nurses from Brown Medical might be operating out of trucks or be placed in a rented trailer. Space is hard to come by on a worksite. Brown never knows how long the wait for open space will be or how far away they will be from the workers. The unit fixes both of these issues.
The unit being on wheels makes being accessible to the contractors that are gas fracking and putting in electrical lines in the west. Since they are always on the move, the unit can follow alongside them every step of the way and not be too far in case an injury should occur. The team is necessary for these types of jobs because of laws set by OSHA; if a construction site has so many workers, a medical unit is necessary for the safety of the workers.
The Brown Medical office was established 10 years ago and started off primarily working with energy producing companies like AEP and Duke Energy. The first eight years was focused on supplying on-site first aid and nurse stations to work sites.
Brown expanded the corporate office four years ago into a full service occupational medicine company, supplying employee drug and alcohol testing, employee health and wellness testing, and various testing like DNA.
“Brown is an asset to the small companies locally. All we do is occupational medicine, so we have that specialty. We know about injuries and physicals. If you have an employee, and I don’t have anything about family physicians or urgent care facilities, but if you send someone in for a DLT physical, it isn’t a priority. If they get sent to us for that, that is our focus. We also work with injuries caused on the job such as sprains and other injuries we can access and treat. The new medical unit provides options for manufacturing companies or entities from around here that has workers to get the required medical surveillances,” Hale said.