The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has been using 3D printing technologies for over a decade, embracing the technology to further improve patient-centered health care solutions for veterans. Over 65 hospitals within the network have 3D printing capabilities using the technology for a wide range of applications (from dental to assistive technology devices to pre-surgical anatomical models to patient specific surgical instruments). Efforts are ongoing to link hospitals and 3D printing services to encompass the enterprise of 170 hospitals. The network provides a unique opportunity to observe what point of care manufacturing looks like in hospitals of different medical complexity levels and in different geographic regions. In the presentation, I will share experience of VHA when using this technology to support medical device manufacturing and development activities as the hospital is a registered device manufacturer with the FDA. I will discuss our strategies for implementing a quality management system, our experience building the team that is developing and manufacturing medical devices from within the hospital walls, and the devices that have been created and are being used thus far.
- Learn from the VHA experience of using 3D printing for clinical applications.
- List the advantages that 3D printing technologies provide that make it a perfect fabrication tool to support patient-specific health care solutions.
- Understand some challenges of getting a hospital to become a medical device manufacturer.