Mobile Dental Units at the deckplate
Wish, Peter G.
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The concept of bringing dental care to the active duty member can be traced back as far as World War I. More than 80 years later, this still holds true. Today, Mobile Dental Units (MDU) seek out the patient, saving hundreds and thousands of man-hours which would otherwise be consumed by patients traveling to a point where their needs could be met. The goal of this research project is to determine the optimal number of MDUs to meet the demands of the force they support. The site chosen for this analysis was Naval Dental Center, Southwest, in San Diego, Ca. This command was chosen because it is the largest dental command within Navy medicineit has a fleet of MDUs, four of which are used to service local squadrons, Fleet Marine Force units and approximately 30 ships of the Pacific Fleetand it is close to the Naval Postgraduate School. In answering this question, a Cost Benefit Analysis and Cost Effectiveness Analysis were conducted, looking at fourteen months of MDU workload. The Cost Benefit Analysis showed a savings over ten years between $467,409 and $837,754 per MDU. Five metrics were created to determine cost effectiveness. This analysis identified areas for additional potential savings, ultimately saving DoD more money and making the MDUs more productive. Considering the implications of both the cost benefit and cost effectiveness analysis, the optimal number of MDUs for Naval Dental Clinic Southwest (NDCSW) is four. Although man-hour savings is a key determinant in using these valuable assets, these vehicles more importantly improve the dental health of our operational forces, increasing Operational Dental Readiness and improving our military's overall state of Operational Readiness. More importantly, these mobile units assist the Dental Corps and BUMED with the ultimate goal of ensuring, "Dentally Healthy Sailors and Marines. "
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