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Joint Incentive Fund
Hawaii CAD/CAM

A new computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) system for orthotics and prosthetics has been installed in the Orthopedic Brace Clinic at Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC). The CAD/CAM technology system fabricates custom orthotics and prosthetics through an automated program, laser scanner, and mill while electronically maintaining an electronic record of the patient's scan. This new system eliminates the need for a plaster mold to be developed and stored. This technology reduces laborious manual processes and the amount of time to get the devices back to the patients.

This Delta Systems II CAD/CAM for Orthotics and Prosthetics was purchased and installed using Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Joint Incentive Fund (JIF) dollars. The JIF program was designed to foster creative local, regional, and national DoD/VA sharing initiatives. The ultimate goal of each JIF project is to improve care to DoD and VA beneficiaries and identify innovative and cost effective ways for both organizations to work together.

The CAD/CAM capability at (TAMC) has facilitated better quality of life for Service Members and has provided opportunity for increased service availability to veteran beneficiaries. The ultimate goal of this JIF project is to provide the quality orthotics to both DoD and VA beneficiaries in a timely, cost effective, and safe environment. Specific emphasis was placed upon expanding clinic access to the Veterans Affairs Pacific Island Health Care System (VAPIHCS), since they do not have an orthotist available at their VA Ambulatory Care Clinic.

The upgrade to the advanced technology enables more patients to be seen at the clinic, including DoD and VA beneficiaries. In the past, the clinic could only accommodate VA referrals on a space available basis because the manual processes took an average of 4-72 hours per patient and often required several adjustments and modifications prior to final fitting. "We look forward to working with our partners at the VAPIHCS to put this wonderful new equipment and the training our staff has received to good use," said Brenda Horner, Tripler's Joint Venture Coordinator.

The JIF program was established under the authority of the FY 2003 National Defense Authorization Act, Public Law 107-314, Section 721. Now in the third year of implementation, the Departments have contributed a total of $90 million. To date, 47 projects totaling $89 million have been approved and are in various stages of progress.

The projects were selected using criteria such as improving access to care, return on investment, measurable performance data, and overall support of the VA/DoD Joint Strategic Plan. The 2006 projects cover such diverse areas of medical care as mental health counseling, web-based training for pharmacy technicians, cardio-thoracic surgery, neurosurgery and increased physical therapy services for both DoD and VA beneficiaries.

Other JIF projects focus on improving technology in the Department's medical facilities. Two examples include a successful joint open MRI project in South Carolina and a Picture Archive Communication System in Illinois. The South Carolina project involves the installation of an open MRI to accommodate patients from three facilities, the Moncrief Army Community Hospital, the 20th Medical Group at Shaw Air Force Base, and the Dorn VA Medical Center. With the addition of this technology, patients receive MRIs within the military treatment facility, instead of being sent to the private sector for care. The results are less time spent waiting to get an appointment, and less cost to the VA and DoD health systems.

The Illinois project involves the installation of the Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) at the Navy Medical Clinic, Great Lakes. The PACS will allow the electronic transfer of radiology images between the Naval Medical Clinic and the North Chicago VA Medical Center (NCVAMC). With JIF funding, the existing PACS at the NCVAMC will be updated to connect with the Navy Medical Clinic. This interconnectivity will provide unlimited web-based access of radiological images to providers at these facilities. As these two sites merge into one federal facility over the next few years, electronic transfer of data will be vital to continuity of care for patients receiving care at both locations.

Delta Systems II Cad/Cam for Orthotics and Prosthetics in the Orthopedic Brace Clinic at Tripler Army Medical Center

Delta Systems II Cad/Cam for Orthotics and Prosthetics in the Orthopedic Brace Clinic at Tripler Army Medical Center