The mobile surgical instrument lab will travel between UCLA's two medical campuses. - Photo courtesy of Winnebago

The mobile surgical instrument lab will travel between UCLA's two medical campuses.

Photo courtesy of Winnebago

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health Center has taken delivery of the first battery-electric mobile surgical instrument lab (eMSIL). The mobile medical unit will travel between UCLA’s medical campuses in Westwood and Santa Monica to collect, clean, repair, disinfect, and sterilize surgical suite instruments.

The eMSIL is a turnkey solution for receiving, decontaminating, preparing, packaging, sterilizing and distributing nearly any type of surgical equipment hospitals use. Ashis Bhattacharya, vice president of business development, specialty vehicles, and advanced technology for Winnebago, said UCLA Health Center expects to save nearly $750,000 per year with the mobile unit, instead of contracting a third party to service surgical instruments off-site.

Built by Winnebago Specialty Vehicles and platform upfitter Summit Bodyworks, the eMSIL is powered by an all-electric EPIC F-53 33-foot chassis from Motiv Power Systems. The vehicle is designed to hold enough battery charge for eight hours of typical service plus round-trip travel to and from its home facility. The vehicle has completed significant road testing and delivers an expected range of 85 to 125 miles on a full charge.

The eMSIL is stocked with all the equipment needed to deliver the same level of decontamination through sterilization as a lab located in a building, and is upfitted with two desks in the slide-out area, two workbenches, an industrial sink and two stations for 5.5 gallon ultrasonic cleaners, and other custom cabinetry and equipment.

A portion of the funds used to purchase of the UCLA eMSIL were provided by the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), a California Air Resources Board (CARB) program administered by clean transportation accelerator Calstart and funded with cap-and-trade proceeds through California Climate Investments (CCI). 

In addition to the eMSIL, UCLA Heath also manages a mobile stroke unit, mobile eye clinic, and mobile clinic serving homeless and low-income individuals.

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