An Innovative Approach to Enhancing Access to Medical Screening for Miners using a Mobile Clinic with Telemedicine Capability.
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Inadequate access to medical care in underserved and geographically isolated rural communities may limit the delivery of quality screening care to miners. Use of mobile screening clinics, manned by a physician assistant or nurse practitioner, is one way to improve their access. Miners demonstrate a high level of satisfaction with services provided by the mobile screening clinic. The addition of telemedicine to mobile screening clinics allows miners to have access to university-based specialist care and provides an opportunity to specialists to tele-mentor other providers. Although inadequately studied, limited data suggest that miners accept telemedicine consultation. We expect that the innovative use of mobile screening clinics with telemedicine technology might allow efficient utilization of resources to meet the medical screening needs of a large number of miners in geographically remote locations in the United States.