3D-printed anatomic models began with the most complex cases, surgeries that could not be done or attempted without the maximal technological investment. In today’s healthcare system, this represent a small fraction of what happens in the hospitals. Bringing this technology to the rest of healthcare will have an even bigger impact on the overall healthcare system. Our unique, in-hospital process for image segmentation, file preparation, and 3D printing in Orthopaedic Surgery at the San Francisco VA Health Care System, has allowed us to expand the application space for this technology. We routinely produce 3D renderings and prints for Orthopaedic trauma cases, without delay in care. We also utilize 3D printing for injuries that do not require surgery; where the non-operative approach has the best outcomes. The paradigm shift we have started at the San Francisco VA is to make this technology routine and integrated into our usual clinical workflow as a tertiary referral center. Making this technology as easy and relevant to the surgeon (end user) to use will be the only way to increase the use of this technology. The successes we have started involves processes that will be easily adapted by others.
- Apply the strategies discussed to jump start 3D printing at their own hospitals
- Identify barriers and develop solutions to expand 3D printing in their hospitals, be able to discuss expanded applications for 3D printing than what is traditionally considered
- Utilize cost-effective technologies to reduce the startup costs of developing an in-hospital 3D printing system