When facilities contact us about renting a mobile imaging system, they often ask about covered walkways for the short distances patients may be outdoors while entering the mobile trailer. Questions like, "Are covered walkways required?", "Are they included?", and, "What are the options?" frequently become part of the discussion. We're going to take the next few moments to answer those questions.
Keep reading to find out how covering the path from your permanent building to your rented mobile system might factor into your rental experience.
Is a covered walkway required?
Covering the walkway to your mobile system is not required by law. There is no penalty from regulatory bodies for not having a cover. Many facilities that rent, however, still decide to use some form of covering to promote patient comfort and satisfaction.
If you should decide to use a walkway covering with your rental, the only rule that must be observed is most likely to come from your provider: Any walkway covering you choose cannot attach directly to the mobile trailer. Under its permit, a mobile imaging trailer is designated as a "temporary fixture". Connecting it to another structure violates the terms of the permit.
Is a covered walkway included in my rental agreement?
Walkway coverings are not included in Block Imaging rental agreements, nor are we aware of other providers who do include them. The design and functionality needs for walkways vary too much across climates and rental periods for a "one-size-fits-all" solution. The need for a covering in an arid climate like Arizona over a three-month rental may seem relatively low. If you're renting for a six-month period in rainy Seattle or snowy Fargo, on the other hand, investing in a covering seems much wiser.
What are my options for covering my walkway?
As we hinted at above, the design and functionality of a walkway covering will vary by the length of the rental term and the climate zone in which the facility is located. Ultimately, covering decisions are made by the facility, and installation is overseen by whichever building contractor they engage for the project. That said, we can share some examples of the coverings we've seen renters choose to employ.
The Trailer's Overhead Door
Many trailers have an overhead door that swings out over the wheelchair/gurney lift. If you can position the trailer close enough to your building, this door can act as an awning. This is a minimal approach, but will shield patients from light rain or snow.
A structure that is solid, but can still be dismantled with relative ease, is worth considering if your rental term will overlap with a rainy or snowy season. Some of the structures we've seen are reminiscent of a carport and only require a few holes to be drilled in the concrete or asphalt near each post.
If your facility is in a climate known for rain, wind, or snow, and you will be renting for a long term, it may make sense to extend your building with a full, solid covering for the path to your mobile trailer. These structures can be quite simple (not entirely dissimilar from a small pole barn or single-car garage), but will do the very best job of shielding patients from inclement weather.
Some facilities have existing awnings, docks, or breezeways that a trailer can simply be parked very close to. If this describes your building, you're in luck; you might not need to do anything.
The decision to cover the walkway between an imaging facility's main building and a rented trailer needs to be made on a case-by-case basis. If you decide to cover your walkway, our team is ready to help with the trailer specifications your contractor will need. Use the button below to ask your questions about renting or preparing for mobile equipment.
Written by Zack Mitchell
Zack Mitchell is the Vice President of Turnkey Solutions at Block Imaging. In his work, Zack seeks to make every customer interaction more than just a transaction. Outside the office, he is a husband, father, Cubbies fan, and recreational lawn mower.