3D Printing: the next frontier of clinical library engagement
Medical libraries are in a unique position to leverage continuing medical education, evidence based decision-making and innovation in one accessible, communal environment. We propose to purchase and utilize 3D scanning and printing technology to rapidly prototype replicas of human anatomy for medical education, patient education, clinical decisions support, and simulation. Just in time database education and searching will be provided as 3D scans and prints are prepared and executed. As a shared space, open to all Nemours Associates, the medical library will provide access during set office hours to any associate with a reasonable need to have a printed material made from a radiologic or anatomically appropriate scan. We will electronically survey intended users before and after the project to gauge awareness of 3D printing and library resources, as well as providing a blinded print survey during the project to aid in quality improvement throughout the initiative. Additionally, the library will utilize the existing Alfred R Shands Bone Collection, housed in the medical library to create a database of files that may be produced by anyone possessing a 3D printer. These bones are a unique resource for the Department of Orthopedics and are often viewed, but not touched, by clinicians, visitors and patients. The proposed project includes the creation of a scanned database of these pieces, tagged with MeSH terms for printing, as well as printing prototypes for education at all levels.