EHR analyst v Covid. Making a difference with Ear Guards made with 3D printing (Guest post: Guy Ristoff)

Guy Ristoff, his sister-in-law Mollie, and brother Bill

My name is Guy Ristoff.  I work for the EPIC IT Team at UCHealth (Colorado) as an Analyst.  I also have a 3D printer.  A few weeks ago, I started seeing a bunch of people posting in 3D printer Facebook groups about ear guards to use with surgical masks.  I thought it was a great idea for me to explore here at UCHealth.

 I contacted a unit I have done some EPIC build for and asked if they would want some.  I created my first 10, delivered them to the hospital, and hoped they liked them.  I then contacted Gwen Martinez from the Clinical Informatics team and she sent an email blast to a group of people about the ear guards.  Within 20 minutes, we started to get responses.  It was amazing!  The first few “orders” were coming from the Northern Region.  My brother lives in Wellington and has 3D printer as well.  I called and asked him if he would be interested in donating ear guards to the Poudre Valley and MCR.  He was excited to help!  His kiddos even got in on the fun by making thank you cards for the staff.   

As for production, I can make 17 of them per batch, which takes about 4 hours.  It is not a super-fast process, but it is a lot of fun making something that helps people be more comfortable.  My brother has made and dropped off 80 of them.  I have created 122 of them for the AMC and MHC campus so far.   I am dropping those in the mail and at the hospital today!  I will keep up production, so keep the orders coming.  I am just happy to be able to help!

Here is my machine making a batch of them

Example of a clinician wearing a mask protected by the ear guard

CMIO’s take? Thanks to all our creative Epic/IT team members like Guy, to step up and help in every way that they can. –CT Lin MD

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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