Health Life

Study exposes disparities in health care access in rural Southern California

A mobile health clinic the researchers used. Credit: Center for Healthy Communities, UC Riverside

A University of California, Riverside, study that sought to determine barriers to health care among Spanish-speaking Latino farmworkers in rural communities has devised an innovative health care service delivery model that addresses many challenges these communities face.

The researchers, led by Ann Cheney, a medical anthropologist and assistant professor in the Department of Social Medicine, Population, and Public Health in the School of Medicine, advocate the use of mobile clinics, or MHCs, that bring services to patients in their community spaces. Cheney was assisted in the research by Dr. Monica Tulimiero, who graduated from the UCR School of Medicine earlier this year and is now a resident in at Ventura County Medical Center.

MHCs, the researchers argue, offer health care services at times outside of business hours, which suits farmworkers. The researchers also urge providers to immerse themselves and practice in patient communities to better understand their health care needs.

The study, published in The Journal of Rural Health, was conducted in inland Southern California’s eastern Coachella Valley, an agricultural region home to many undocumented and underinsured Latino immigrants. It also included focus group discussions and one-on-one interviews with patients.

In partnership with Health to Hope, a federally qualified health center, Cheney and her team implemented three MHCs in 2019 in locations close to patients’ homes and community spaces, making sure the clinics accommodated patients’ time constraints. The MHC included two exam rooms.

According to the researchers, traditional models of care—the kind that expect patients to access health care services at brick-and-mortar structures within defined clinic hours—work for patients with resources such as paid sick leave and job stability but are not practical for Latino farmworkers in .

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Prothrombin Time Test and INR (PT/INR): MedlinePlus Medical Test

What happens during a PT/INR test?

The test may be done on a blood sample from a vein or a fingertip.

For a blood sample from a vein:

A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

For a blood sample from a fingertip:

A fingertip test may be done in a provider’s office or in your home. If you are taking warfarin, your provider may recommend you test your blood regularly using an at-home PT/INR test kit. During this test, you or your provider will:

  • Use a small needle to puncture your fingertip
  • Collect a drop of blood and place it onto a test strip or other special instrument
  • Place the instrument or test strip into a device that calculates the results. At-home devices are small and lightweight.

If you are using an at-home test kit, you will need to review your results with your provider. Your provider will let you know how he or she would like to receive the results.

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