With the current worldwide shortages on personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and face shields, hospitals everywhere are looking for new ways to keep patients and health care professionals safe.
An example of this is taking place in the Ozarks, as CoxHealth teams up with Missouri State University’s Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC) to create Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care workers using 3D-printing and laser-cutting technology.
“Challenges like COVID-19 cause organizations to look outside the box to find solutions, which is what we’re doing to help provide PPE for our local health care workers,” says Scott Rogers, system director of Performance Integration and Innovation at CoxHealth. “This is an exciting development that we hope will make a real difference for our staff and other health systems across the country and around the world.”
The items, which are currently in the prototype phase, are face shields which protect workers’ eyes, nose and mouth and are designed to be worn with a surgical mask underneath. The basic material is created at JVIC using 3D printing, after which a laser printer cuts the shields into shape. The method allows thousands to be made quickly.
The foundation of the shields was created using supplies most hospitals already have, while other pieces required partnering with local university labs for materials. Each component of the shield can be taken apart and replaced separately, making them efficient and easy to supply. In addition, each component can be cleaned thoroughly according the hospital's stringent guidelines and used again.
“We have been purposeful about innovation at CoxHealth. It’s very fulfilling that, thanks to this groundwork, we are at a place to help keep our employees – and many other health care professionals – safe,” says Rogers.
The designs will be shared with interested health systems around the world.
The designs are also available on our website.