Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Greenville Health System Proceedings






Greenville Health System


Background: Research has established that members of particular demographic groups are inordinately burdened by differential healthcare access. Mobile health clinics (MHCs) are emerging across health systems to improve access to care of marginalized populations. This study explored the perceptions and concerns of community residents living in underserved neighborhoods toward MHC services.

Methods: This study used a qualitative descriptive design with 5 focus group meetings. Purposive sampling was used to recruit ethnically diverse, English- and Spanish-speaking men and women ages 20–67 residing in 5 underserved neighborhoods in Greenville County, SC.

Results: Participants (N = 35) felt positive about obtaining personalized health care through an MHC unit. MHCs were viewed as convenient, situated in a central location in the community. Participants described positive qualities of MHCs, including cleanliness, attractiveness, convenience, comfort, consistency, compassion, and safety. Participants suggested the MHC should provide basic emergency “triage” care and transport to the hospital if necessary, and act as a conduit for offering health education and access to affordable prescriptions. Participants’ preferences for days of service varied; however, consistency of service and placement in a safe community area were more important.

Conclusions: Findings demonstrated that it is important for health systems to ascertain the level of acceptance and readiness among residents in underserved communities for an MHC; this assessment should take place prior to launching the MHC. Delivering health care through an MHC involves more than providing tangible healthcare services to community residents. Consistent, respectful, and high-quality care should be the foundation of MHC development and ongoing implementation.