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Publication numberUS20030019165 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/153,206
Publication dateJan 30, 2003
Filing dateMay 22, 2002
Priority dateMay 25, 2001
Also published asCA2447655A1, CA2447656A1, CA2447661A1, EP1389995A2, EP1395220A1, EP1397103A2, US6895715, US7040057, US7219472, US7392621, US7735266, US7865982, US8240092, US8418287, US8499503, US8683750, US20030009952, US20030014817, US20040237202, US20050102912, US20070068089, US20080236054, US20100205739, US20110072588, US20120291199, US20130145700, WO2002096335A2, WO2002096335A3, WO2002096338A2, WO2002096338A3, WO2002096339A1
Publication number10153206, 153206, US 2003/0019165 A1, US 2003/019165 A1, US 20030019165 A1, US 20030019165A1, US 2003019165 A1, US 2003019165A1, US-A1-20030019165, US-A1-2003019165, US2003/0019165A1, US2003/019165A1, US20030019165 A1, US20030019165A1, US2003019165 A1, US2003019165A1
InventorsDennis Gallant, Dennis Lanci
Original AssigneeGallant Dennis J., Lanci Dennis M.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Patient care apparatus and method
US 20030019165 A1
Abstract
A patient care apparatus for use in a healthcare facility having a patient room separated from a hallway. The apparatus includes a cabinet having a supply receptacle and a portion situated in an opening formed between the patient room and the hallway. The cabinet has a first side accessible in the patient room and a second side accessible in the hallway. A communication portion is coupled to the hospital computer network and is configured to receive a signal indicating at least one of activation of a faucet in the room, collection of patient data, use of a supply item, and collection of supply data. A mobile supply cart is configured to carry supplies. The mobile supply cart includes a supply data management unit on which inventory management data is entered, and a transceiver configured to send the inventory management data to a computer network of the healthcare facility and receive supply refill orders transmitted from the network.
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Claims(73)
1. A patient care apparatus for use in a healthcare facility having a patient room separated from a hallway, the apparatus including a cabinet having a supply receptacle and a portion situated in an opening formed between the patient room and the hallway, the cabinet having a first side accessible in the patient room and a second side accessible in the hallway.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the cabinet includes a supply receptacle having a first door coupled to the first side, a second door coupled to the second side, the first door movable between positions permitting and limiting access to the supply receptacle from inside the patient room, and the second door movable between positions permitting and limiting access to the supply receptacle from the hallway.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 further including a tote drawer unit having a plurality of compartments for holding supplies, the supply receptacle being sized to receive the tote drawer unit.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the tote drawer unit includes a retainer for coupling the tote drawer unit to the cabinet.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein the retainer includes a hook-shaped portion to couple the tote drawer unit to a foot board of a hospital bed.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 further including a tote drawer unit having a plurality of compartments for holding supplies and a mobile supply cart having an opening sized to receive the tote drawer unit.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the tote drawer unit includes a retainer for coupling the tote drawer unit to the mobile supply cart.
8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the cabinet includes a waste receptacle having a first door coupled to the first side, a second door coupled to the second side, the first door movable between a position limiting access and a position permitting access to the waste receptacle from inside the patient room, and the second door movable between a position limiting access and a position permitting access to the waste receptacle from the hallway.
9. The apparatus of claim 1 further including a communication portion including a monitor positioned adjacent a wall which partially separates the patient room and the hallway, the monitor movable between a position facing away from the wall and a position facing the wall.
10. A modular supply management apparatus for use in a hospital room in communication with a hospital computer network, the room separated from a hallway, the apparatus including a supply portion including a receptacle for holding patient care supplies, the supply portion at least partially situated in an opening between the room and the hallway, the receptacle being accessible from the hallway, and a communication portion coupled to the hospital computer network and configured to receive supply data and send the supply data to the computer network.
11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the receptacle is accessible from the room.
12. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the communication portion includes a supply data receiver to receive the supply data from a supply data source.
13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein the supply data source includes a manual entry device configured to receive the supply data manually entered by a caregiver.
14. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the manual entry device includes a keyboard coupled to a hospital computer network.
15. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the manual entry device includes a touch screen coupled to a hospital computer network.
16. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the supply data source includes an automatic supply sensor to automatically detect at least one of the presence and absence of supplies and receive the supply data.
17. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein the automatic supply sensor includes a proximity sensor to detect at least one of the presence and absence of a supply item in the receptacle.
18. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein the automatic supply sensor includes a weight sensor to detect at least one of the weight and absence of a supply item in the receptacle.
19. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein the automatic supply sensor includes a bar code reader.
20. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the communication portion includes a window provided in a wall between the room and the hallway and a display terminal movable between an orientation facing the interior of the room and an orientation facing the hallway.
21. The apparatus of claim 20 wherein the display terminal is situated outside the room and is accessible from the hallway.
22. The apparatus of claim 20 wherein the display terminal is pivotally mounted on one side of the wall, the pivotal mount being operable by a caregiver from the other side of the wall to move the display terminal between the orientation facing the interior of the room and the orientation facing the hallway.
23. The apparatus of claim 10 further including a mobile supply cart coupled to the hospital computer network and configured to receive the supply data from the computer network.
24. The apparatus of claim 23 further including a tote drawer unit including a compartment for holding supplies, the mobile supply cart configured to couple to the tote drawer unit.
25. The apparatus of claim 23 wherein the mobile supply cart includes a wireless transceiver to transmit supply data to, and receive the supply data from, the computer network.
26. A modular work cell for a patient room, the modular work cell including a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a third communication portion, the first, second, and third portions being coupled together to form an integral unit.
27. The apparatus of claim 26 wherein the work cell is configured to cooperate with a wall in the patient room, the supply receptacle including a first side accessible from inside the patient room, and a second side accessible from outside the patient room.
28. The apparatus of claim 26 wherein the third portion is coupled to a hospital computer network and a patient monitoring equipment.
29. The apparatus of claim 26 wherein the second portion is coupled to the third portion, and the third portion is configured to receive supply data.
30. The apparatus of claim 26 wherein the first portion is coupled to the third portion, and the third portion is configured to receive caregiver activity data.
31. The apparatus of claim 30 wherein the caregiver activity data includes hand-washing data.
32. The apparatus of claim 26 wherein the third portion includes a window to provide a view into and out of the patient room.
33. The apparatus of claim 32 wherein the window is changeable between a transparent state and a non-transparent state.
34. The apparatus of claim 27 further including a mobile supply cart including a compartment to carry supplies, the mobile supply cart including a supply data receiver.
35. A mobile supply cart for use in a supply management system of a healthcare facility, the mobile supply cart configured to carry supplies, and including a supply data management unit on which inventory management data is entered, and a transceiver carried by the cart configured to send the inventory management data to a computer network of the healthcare facility and receive supply refill orders transmitted from the network.
36. The apparatus of claim 35 further including a tote drawer unit including a tote drawer housing configured to carry patient-care supplies.
37. The apparatus of claim 36 wherein the tote drawer unit includes a handle coupled to the top of the tote drawer housing.
38. The apparatus of claim 36 wherein the tote drawer unit includes at least one hook coupled to the tote drawer housing, the at least one hook adapted to engage a portion of the mobile supply cart to couple the tote drawer unit to the mobile supply cart.
39. The apparatus of claim 36 wherein the mobile supply cart includes an opening to receive the tote drawer unit therein.
40. A set of equipment for use in a healthcare facility, the set of equipment including a computer, and a work cell including a sink, a hand-washing monitoring system communicating hand-washing data to the computer.
41. A method for managing patient care supplies in a patient room, the method including providing a supply cabinet for storing health care supplies, monitoring quantities of the health care supplies in the cabinet to obtain supply data, sending the supply data to a computer, using the computer to calculate a resupply requirement from the supply data, and dispatching health care supplies to the cabinet based on the resupply requirement.
42. The method of claim 41 wherein dispatching health care supplies to the cabinet based on the resupply requirement includes providing a mobile supply cart to carry supplies to the room.
43. The method of claim 42 wherein providing the mobile supply cart includes providing a receiver on the mobile supply cart to receive the supply data.
44. The method of claim 42 further including sending the resupply requirement to the mobile supply cart.
45. The method of claim 41 wherein providing a supply cabinet includes providing a supply cabinet situated at least partially in a wall which at least partly defines the room, and providing in the cabinet a receptacle accessible from inside the room and from outside of the room.
46. The method of claim 41 wherein monitoring quantities of the health care supplies includes providing a supply sensor to sense automatically quantities of the health care supplies.
47. A method for monitoring caregiver activities in a patient room of a healthcare facility, the method including receiving caregiver activity data in the form of a first signal, the first signal indicating at least one of activation of a faucet, collection of patient data, use of a supply item, and collection of supply data, transmitting the first signal to the receiver, providing a caregiver a transmitter badge, using the badge to transmit a second signal to the receiver when the badge is in the patient room.
48. The method of claim 47 wherein transmitting the first signal includes automatically transmitting the first signal when the caregiver activates the faucet.
49. The method of claim 47 wherein transmitting the first signal includes transmitting the first signal when the caregiver measures a quantity of a supply using a bar code reader.
50. The method of claim 47 wherein transmitting the first signal includes transmitting the first signal when the caregiver manually enters supply data into at least one of a computer touch screen, a keypad, and a keyboard.
51. The method of claim 47 wherein transmitting the first signal includes transmitting the first signal when the caregiver collects patient data using patient monitoring equipment.
52. A supply management system for use in a healthcare facility, the supply management system including a hospital bed, a cabinet formed to include a space, and a plurality of tote drawer units, each tote drawer unit configured to carry patient-care supplies and to be received in the space, each tote drawer unit including a feature for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to the hospital bed to be transported with the hospital bed.
53. The supply management system of claim 52 wherein the cabinet includes a first side in a patient room and a second side opposite the first side and outside the patient room, and the space includes a supply receptacle having a first door coupled to the first side, a second door coupled to the second side, the first door movable between a position permitting access to the supply receptacle from inside the patient room and a position limiting such access, and the second door movable between a position permitting access to the supply receptacle from outside the patient room and a position limiting such access.
54. The supply management system of claim 52 wherein the tote drawer units each include a plurality of compartments for holding the patient-care supplies.
55. The supply management system of claim 52 wherein each tote drawer unit includes a feature for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to the cabinet.
56. The supply management system of claim 55 wherein the feature for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to the cabinet includes a hook-shaped portion to couple the tote drawer unit to a foot board of the hospital bed.
57. The supply management system of claim 52 further including a mobile supply cart to transport the patient-care supplies, the mobile supply cart having at least one opening sized to receive a tote drawer unit.
58. The supply management system of claim 57 wherein each tote drawer unit includes a feature for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to the mobile supply cart.
59. The supply management system of claim 52 wherein the cabinet includes a first side in the room and a second side opposite the first side, and a waste receptacle, the cabinet having a first door coupled to the first side, a second door coupled to the second side, the first door movable between a position permitting access to the waste receptacle from inside the patient room and a position limiting such access, and the second door movable between a position restricting access to the waste receptacle from outside the room and a position permitting such access.
60. A tote drawer unit for use in a supply management system of a healthcare facility, the tote drawer unit including a housing configured to carry patient-care supplies, a handle for facilitating handling of the housing, and at least one feature adapted to engage a portion of a hospital bed to couple the tote drawer unit selectively to the hospital bed.
61. The tote drawer unit of claim 60 wherein the housing includes at least one interior wall forming a plurality of compartments for holding patient-care supplies.
62. The tote drawer unit of claim 61 wherein a door is coupled to the housing to selectively close at least one of the compartments.
63. The tote drawer unit of claim 60 wherein the at least one feature is adapted to engage a cabinet to couple the tote drawer unit to the cabinet.
64. The tote drawer unit of claim 60 wherein the at least one feature is adapted to engage a portion of a mobile supply cart to couple the tote drawer unit to the mobile supply cart for transportation of the tote drawer unit therewith.
65. A method for managing supplies in a healthcare facility having a patient room separated from a hallway, the method including providing supplies through a first opening in the hallway into a cabinet and gaining access to the thus-provided supplies through a second opening in the patient room into the cabinet.
66. The method of claim 65 further including opening a first door in the hallway to provide access to the first opening, and opening a second door in the patient room to provide access to the second opening.
67. The method of claim 66 wherein providing supplies through a first opening in the hallway into a cabinet includes providing a tote drawer unit having a plurality of compartments, placing supplies in at least one of the compartments, and providing the tote drawer unit through the first opening.
68. The method of claim 67 including coupling the tote drawer unit to the cabinet.
69. The method of claim 68 wherein coupling the tote drawer unit to the cabinet includes providing on the tote drawer unit a hook-shaped portion configured to be coupled selectively to the cabinet and to a foot board of a hospital bed.
70. The method of claim 65 wherein providing supplies through a first opening in the hallway into a cabinet includes providing supplies in a tote drawer unit having a plurality of compartments for holding the supplies and transporting the tote drawer unit to the first opening in a mobile supply cart having an opening sized to receive the tote drawer unit.
71. The method of claim 70 wherein transporting the tote drawer unit to the first opening in a mobile supply cart having an opening sized to receive the tote drawer unit includes providing on the tote drawer unit a retainer for coupling the tote drawer unit to the mobile supply cart.
72. The method of claim 65 wherein providing first and second openings in a cabinet includes providing first and second openings in a cabinet having a waste receptacle having a first door and a second door, moving the first door between a position limiting access to the waste receptacle from inside the patient room and a position permitting access to the waste receptacle from inside the patient room, and moving the second door between a position limiting access to the waste receptacle from the hallway and a position permitting access to the waste receptacle from the hallway.
73. The method of claim 65 further including moving a monitor positioned adjacent a wall which partially separates the patient room and the hallway between a position facing away from the wall and a position facing the wall.
Description

[0001] This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/293,949, filed May 25, 2001, which is expressly incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to an apparatus and method for providing patient care. It is disclosed in the context of a patient-care facility, however it may be useful in other applications as well.

[0003] The efficiency with which quality healthcare is provided to patients is increasingly important in the healthcare industry. Efficiency is affected by nearly every aspect of the design of a healthcare facility and a patient room. Various systems and equipment are used to provide quality healthcare to a patient, including supply cabinets, waste containers, computer terminals or work stations, supply management systems, caregiver and patient monitoring systems, and the like. The design of such equipment, level of automation, interconnectedness, and layout influence how efficiently healthcare is provided.

[0004] Some tasks require caregivers to enter and exit the patient room somewhat frequently, resulting in wasted motion. Examples of tasks that contribute to this wasted motion and resultant reduction in efficiency include taking inventory of supplies, determining and communicating information about resupply needs, acquiring the resupply need, and stocking the resupply items. A further source of inefficiency relates to retrieval and delivery of supplies to the room through non-automated means. Another source of inefficiency relates to caregivers having to enter the patient room to deliver supplies to the room, retrieve trash or other items from the room, and to interact with computer, other equipment, or the patient in the room. Still another source of inefficiency is experienced in having to transport supply items between a storage cabinet and, for example, a patient in a bed. Yet a further source of inefficiency relates to the difficulty of managing the quality and efficiency with which healthcare is provided through monitoring quality control data relating to caregiver activities.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] According to one aspect of the invention, a patient care apparatus is provided for use in a healthcare facility having a patient room separated from a hallway. The apparatus includes a cabinet having a supply receptacle and a portion situated in an opening formed between the patient room and the hallway, the cabinet having a first side accessible in the patient room and a second side accessible in the hallway.

[0006] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the cabinet includes a supply receptacle having a first door coupled to the first side, a second door coupled to the second side, the first door movable between positions permitting and limiting access to the supply receptacle from inside the patient room, and the second door movable between positions permitting and limiting access to the supply receptacle from the hallway.

[0007] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, a tote drawer unit has a plurality of compartments for holding supplies. The supply receptacle is configured to receive the tote drawer unit.

[0008] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the tote drawer unit includes a retainer for coupling the tote drawer unit to the cabinet.

[0009] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the retainer includes a hook-shaped portion to couple the tote drawer unit to a foot board of a hospital bed.

[0010] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the apparatus includes a tote drawer unit. The tote drawer unit includes a plurality of compartments for holding supplies. The apparatus further includes a mobile supply cart having an opening sized to receive the tote drawer unit.

[0011] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the tote drawer unit includes a retainer for coupling the tote drawer unit to the mobile supply cart.

[0012] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the cabinet includes a waste receptacle having a first door coupled to the first side and a second door coupled to the second side. The first door is movable between a position limiting access to the waste receptacle from inside the patient room and a position permitting access to the waste receptacle from inside the patient room. The second door is movable between a position limiting access to the waste receptacle from the hallway and a position permitting access to the waste receptacle from the hallway.

[0013] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the apparatus includes a communication portion including a monitor positioned adjacent a wall which partially separates the patient room and the hallway. The monitor is movable between a position facing away from the wall and a position facing the wall.

[0014] According to another aspect of the invention, a method for managing supplies in a healthcare facility having a patient room separated from a hallway includes providing supplies through a first opening in the hallway into a cabinet and gaining access to the thus-provided supplies through a second opening in the patient room into the cabinet.

[0015] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the method further includes opening a first door in the hallway to provide access to the first opening, and opening a second door in the patient room to provide access to the second opening.

[0016] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing supplies through a first opening in the hallway into a cabinet includes providing a tote drawer unit having a plurality of compartments, placing supplies in at least one of the compartments, and providing the tote drawer unit through the first opening.

[0017] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the method includes coupling the tote drawer unit to the cabinet.

[0018] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, coupling the tote drawer unit to the cabinet includes providing on the tote drawer unit a hook-shaped portion configured to be coupled selectively to the cabinet and to a foot board of a hospital bed.

[0019] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing supplies through a first opening in the hallway into a cabinet includes providing supplies in a tote drawer unit having a plurality of compartments for holding the supplies and transporting the tote drawer unit to the first opening in a mobile supply cart having an opening sized to receive the tote drawer unit.

[0020] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, transporting the tote drawer unit to the first opening in a mobile supply cart having an opening sized to receive the tote drawer unit includes providing on the tote drawer unit a retainer for coupling the tote drawer unit to the mobile supply cart.

[0021] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing first and second openings in a cabinet includes providing first and second openings in a cabinet having a waste receptacle having a first door and a second door, moving the first door between a position limiting access to the waste receptacle from inside the patient room and a position permitting access to the waste receptacle from inside the patient room, and moving the second door between a position limiting access to the waste receptacle from the hallway and a position permitting access to the waste receptacle from the hallway.

[0022] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the method includes moving a monitor positioned adjacent a wall which partially separates the patient room and the hallway between a position facing away from the wall and a position facing the wall.

[0023] According to another aspect of the invention, a modular supply management apparatus is provided for use in a hospital room. The room is in communication with a hospital computer network and is separated from a hallway. The apparatus includes a supply portion including a receptacle for holding patient care supplies. The supply portion is at least partially situated in an opening between the room and the hallway. The receptacle is accessible from the hallway. The apparatus further includes a communication portion coupled to the hospital computer network and configured to receive supply data and send the supply data to the computer network.

[0024] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the receptacle is accessible from the room.

[0025] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the communication portion includes a supply data receiver to receive the supply data from a supply data source.

[0026] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the supply data source includes a manual entry device configured to receive the supply data manually entered by a caregiver.

[0027] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the manual entry device includes a keyboard coupled to a hospital computer network.

[0028] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the manual entry device includes a touch screen coupled to a hospital computer network.

[0029] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the supply data source includes an automatic supply sensor to automatically detect at least one of the presence and absence of supplies and receive the supply data.

[0030] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the automatic supply sensor includes a proximity sensor to detect at least one of the presence and absence of a supply item in the receptacle.

[0031] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the automatic supply sensor includes a weight sensor to detect at least one of the weight and absence of a supply item in the receptacle.

[0032] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the automatic supply sensor includes a bar code reader.

[0033] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the communication portion includes a window provided in a wall between the room and the hallway and a display terminal movable between an orientation facing the interior of the room and an orientation facing the hallway.

[0034] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the display terminal is situated outside the room and is accessible from the hallway.

[0035] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the display terminal is pivotally mounted on one side of the wall. The pivotal mount is operable by a caregiver from the other side of the wall to move the display terminal between the orientation facing the interior of the room and the orientation facing the hallway.

[0036] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the apparatus includes a mobile supply cart coupled to the hospital computer network and configured to receive the supply data from the computer network.

[0037] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the apparatus includes a tote drawer unit including a compartment for holding supplies. The tote drawer unit is configured to couple to the mobile supply cart.

[0038] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the mobile supply cart includes a wireless transceiver to transmit supply data to, and receive the supply data from, the computer network.

[0039] According to a further aspect of the invention, a method of supply management for a hospital room in communication with a hospital computer network includes providing an opening between the room and the hallway, and placing in the opening a receptacle accessible from the hallway for holding patient care supplies and a communication portion coupled to the hospital computer network and configured to receive supply data and send the supply data to the computer network.

[0040] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, placing in the opening a receptacle accessible from the hallway for holding patient care supplies and a communication portion coupled to the hospital computer network includes placing in the opening a receptacle accessible from the hallway and from the room for holding patient care supplies and a communication portion coupled to the hospital computer network.

[0041] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, placing in the opening a communication portion coupled to the hospital computer network and configured to receive supply data and send the supply data to the computer network includes placing in the opening a supply data receiver configured to receive the supply data from a supply data source.

[0042] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, placing in the opening a supply data receiver configured to receive supply data from a supply data source includes placing in the opening a supply data receiver configured to receive the supply data from a manual entry device configured to receive supply data manually entered by a caregiver.

[0043] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, placing in the opening a supply data receiver configured to receive the supply data from a manual entry device includes placing in the opening a keyboard coupled to a hospital computer network.

[0044] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, placing in the opening a supply data receiver configured to receive the supply data from a manual entry device includes placing in the opening a touch screen coupled to a hospital computer network.

[0045] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, placing in the opening a supply data receiver configured to receive supply data from a supply data source includes placing in the opening an automatic supply sensor for automatically sensing at least one of the presence and absence of supplies and receiving data representative of the at least one of the presence and absence of supplies.

[0046] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, placing in the opening an automatic supply sensor includes placing in the opening a proximity sensor to detect at least one of the presence and absence of a supply item in the receptacle.

[0047] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, placing in the opening an automatic supply sensor includes placing in the opening a weight sensor to detect at least one of the weight and absence of the weight of a supply item in the receptacle.

[0048] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, placing in the opening an automatic supply sensor includes placing in the opening a bar code reader.

[0049] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, placing in the opening a communication portion coupled to the hospital computer network and configured to receive supply data and send the supply data to the computer network includes the communication portion includes placing in the opening a window between the room and the hallway and a display terminal movable between an orientation facing the interior of the room and an orientation facing the hallway.

[0050] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, placing in the opening a display terminal movable between an orientation facing the interior of the room and an orientation facing the hallway includes placing in the opening and outside the room a display terminal accessible from the hallway.

[0051] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, placing in the opening a display terminal movable between an orientation facing the interior of the room and an orientation facing the hallway includes pivotally mounting the display terminal on one side of the wall for operation by a caregiver on either side of the wall to move the display terminal between the orientation facing the interior of the room and the orientation facing the hallway.

[0052] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the method further includes coupling a mobile supply cart to the hospital computer network to receive at the mobile supply cart the supply data from the computer network.

[0053] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the method includes coupling to the mobile supply cart a tote drawer unit including a compartment for holding supplies.

[0054] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, coupling a mobile supply cart to the hospital computer network to receive at the mobile supply cart the supply data from the computer network includes transmitting supply data from the computer network to a wireless transceiver provided on the mobile supply cart and receiving on the mobile supply cart supply data from the computer network.

[0055] According to yet another aspect of the invention, a modular work cell for a patient room includes a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a third communication portion. The first, second, and third portions are coupled together to form an integral unit.

[0056] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the work cell is configured to cooperate with a wall in the patient room. The supply receptacle including a first side accessible from inside the patient room, and a second side accessible from outside the patient room.

[0057] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the third portion is coupled to a hospital computer network and a patient monitoring equipment.

[0058] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the second portion is coupled to the third portion. The third portion is configured to receive supply data.

[0059] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the first portion is coupled to the third portion, and the third portion is configured to receive caregiver activity data.

[0060] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the caregiver activity data includes hand-washing data.

[0061] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the third portion includes a window to provide a view into and out of the patient room.

[0062] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the window is changeable between a transparent state and a non-transparent state.

[0063] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the apparatus includes a mobile supply cart including a compartment to carry supplies. The mobile supply cart includes a supply data receiver.

[0064] According to another aspect of the invention, a method for providing a patient room includes coupling together a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a third communication portion to form an integral unit.

[0065] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, coupling together a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a third communication portion to form an integral unit includes coupling together first, second and third portions which cooperate with a wall in the patient room.

[0066] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, coupling together a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a third communication portion includes coupling together a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion having a first side accessible from inside the patient room and a second side accessible from outside the patient room, and a third communication portion.

[0067] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, coupling together a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a third communication portion includes coupling together a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a third communication portion coupled to a hospital computer network and a patient monitoring equipment.

[0068] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, coupling together a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a third communication portion includes coupling together a first sink portion, and a second supply and waste receptacle portion and a third communication portion coupled together, and receiving at the third portion supply data from the second portion.

[0069] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, coupling together a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a third communication portion includes coupling together a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a first sink portion and a third communication portion coupled together, and receiving at the third portion caregiver activity data from the first portion.

[0070] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, receiving at the third portion caregiver activity data from the first portion includes receiving at the third portion handwashing data from the first portion.

[0071] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, coupling together a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a third communication portion to form an integral unit includes coupling together a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a third portion including a window to provide a view into and out of the patient room.

[0072] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, coupling together a first sink portion, a second supply and waste receptacle portion, and a third portion including a window to provide a view into and out of the patient room includes coupling together a first portion, a second portion, and a third portion including a window changeable between a transparent state and a non-transparent state.

[0073] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the method includes transmitting supply data to a supply data receiver on a mobile supply cart and providing on the mobile supply cart a compartment to carry supplies.

[0074] According to a further aspect of the invention, a mobile supply cart for use in a supply management system of a healthcare facility is configured to carry supplies. The mobile supply cart includes a supply data management unit on which inventory management data is entered, and a transceiver configured to send the inventory management data to a computer network of the healthcare facility and receive supply refill orders transmitted from the network.

[0075] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the apparatus further includes a tote drawer unit including a tote drawer housing configured to carry patient-care supplies.

[0076] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the tote drawer unit includes a handle coupled to the top of the tote drawer housing.

[0077] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the tote drawer unit includes at least one hook coupled to the tote drawer housing. The at least one hook is adapted to engage a portion of the mobile supply cart to couple the tote drawer unit to the mobile supply cart.

[0078] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the mobile supply cart includes an opening to receive the tote drawer unit therein.

[0079] According to yet another aspect of the invention, a method of supply management system in a healthcare facility includes carrying supplies on a mobile supply cart, entering inventory management data on a supply data management unit, sending the inventory management data via a transceiver carried by the cart to a computer network of the healthcare facility, and receiving via the transceiver supply refill orders from the network.

[0080] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the method further includes carrying patient-care supplies in a tote drawer unit.

[0081] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, carrying supplies on the mobile supply cart includes carrying supplies in the tote drawer unit, providing on the tote drawer unit at least one hook adapted to engage a portion of the mobile supply cart, and coupling the at least one hook to the mobile supply cart.

[0082] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, carrying supplies on the mobile supply cart includes carrying supplies in the tote drawer unit, and providing on the mobile supply cart an opening to receive the tote drawer unit therein.

[0083] According to another aspect of the invention, a set of equipment for use in a healthcare facility includes a computer and a work cell including a sink. The set of equipment further includes a hand-washing monitoring system communicating hand-washing data to the computer.

[0084] According to another aspect of the invention, a method of operating a healthcare facility including a computer includes providing a work cell including a sink and a hand-washing monitoring system, and communicating hand-washing data from the hand-washing monitoring system to the computer.

[0085] According to another aspect of the invention, a method for managing patient care supplies in a patient room includes providing a supply cabinet for storing health care supplies, monitoring quantities of the health care supplies in the cabinet to obtain supply data, sending the supply data to a computer, using the computer to calculate a resupply requirement from the supply data, and dispatching health care supplies to the cabinet based on the resupply requirement.

[0086] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, dispatching health care supplies to the cabinet based on the resupply requirement includes providing a mobile supply cart to carry supplies to the room.

[0087] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing the mobile supply cart includes providing a receiver on the mobile supply cart to receive the supply data.

[0088] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the method includes sending the resupply requirement to the mobile supply cart.

[0089] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing a supply cabinet includes providing a supply cabinet situated at least partially in a wall which at least partly defines the room, and providing in the cabinet a receptacle accessible from inside the room and from outside of the room.

[0090] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, monitoring quantities of the health care supplies includes providing a supply sensor to sense automatically quantities of the health care supplies.

[0091] According to another aspect of the invention, a method for monitoring caregiver activities in a patient room of a healthcare facility includes receiving caregiver activity data in the form of a first signal indicating at least one of activation of a faucet, collection of patient data, use of a supply item, and collection of supply data, transmitting the first signal to the receiver, providing a caregiver a transmitter badge, using the badge to transmit a second signal to the receiver when the badge is in the patient room.

[0092] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, transmitting the first signal includes automatically transmitting the first signal when the caregiver activates the faucet.

[0093] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, transmitting the first signal includes transmitting the first signal when the caregiver measures a quantity of a supply using a bar code reader.

[0094] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, transmitting the first signal includes transmitting the first signal when the caregiver manually enters supply data into at least one of a computer touch screen, a keypad, and a keyboard.

[0095] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, transmitting the first signal includes transmitting the first signal when the caregiver collects patient data using patient monitoring equipment.

[0096] According to another aspect of the invention, a supply management system is provided for use in a healthcare facility. The supply management system includes a hospital bed, a cabinet formed to include a space, and a plurality of tote drawer units. Each tote drawer unit is configured to carry patient-care supplies, and to be received in the space. Each tote drawer unit includes a feature for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to the hospital bed for transport with the hospital bed.

[0097] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the cabinet includes a first side in the room and a second side opposite the first side. The space includes a supply receptacle having a first door coupled to the first side and a second door coupled to the second side. The first door is movable between a position permitting access to the supply receptacle from inside the patient room and a position limiting such access. The second door is movable between a position permitting access to the supply receptacle from outside of the room and a position limiting such access.

[0098] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the tote drawer units each include a plurality of compartments for holding the patient-care supplies.

[0099] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, each tote drawer unit includes a feature for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to the cabinet.

[0100] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the feature for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to the cabinet includes a hook-shaped portion to couple the tote drawer unit to a foot board of the hospital bed.

[0101] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the apparatus includes a mobile supply cart to transport the patient-care supplies. The mobile supply cart has at least one opening sized to receive a tote drawer unit.

[0102] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, each tote drawer unit includes a feature for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to the mobile supply cart.

[0103] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the cabinet includes a first side in the room and a second side opposite the first side. The cabinet includes a waste receptacle having a first door coupled to the first side and a second door coupled to the second side. The first door is movable between a position permitting access to the waste receptacle from inside the patient room and a position limiting such access. The second door is movable between a position restricting access to the waste receptacle from outside the room and a position permitting such access.

[0104] According to a further aspect of the invention, a method for managing supplies in a healthcare facility including a hospital bed includes providing a cabinet including a space for receiving a tote drawer unit configured to carry patient-care supplies, providing a plurality of tote drawer units, and providing on each tote drawer unit a feature for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to the hospital bed to be transported with the hospital bed.

[0105] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing a cabinet including a space for receiving a tote drawer unit includes providing a cabinet having a first side in a room of the healthcare facility and a second side opposite the first side, providing on the first side a first door movable between a position permitting access to a supply receptacle within the cabinet from inside the patient room and a position limiting such access, and providing on the second side a second door movable between a position permitting access to the supply receptacle from outside of the room and a position limiting such access.

[0106] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing a plurality of tote drawer units includes providing a plurality of tote drawer units, each having a plurality of compartments for holding the patient-care supplies.

[0107] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing a plurality of tote drawer units includes providing a plurality of tote drawer units, each including a feature for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to the cabinet.

[0108] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing a plurality of tote drawer units, each including a feature for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to the cabinet includes providing a plurality of tote drawer units, each including a hook-shaped portion for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to a foot board of the hospital bed.

[0109] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the method includes providing a mobile supply cart having at least one opening sized to receive a tote drawer unit to transport patient-care supplies.

[0110] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the method further includes providing on each tote drawer unit a feature for selectively coupling the tote drawer unit to the mobile supply cart.

[0111] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing a cabinet includes providing a cabinet having a first side in the room and a second side opposite the first side, providing on the first side a first door movable between a position permitting access to a waste receptacle from inside the patient room and a position limiting such access, and providing on the second side a second door movable between a position permitting access to the waste receptacle from outside of the room and a position limiting such access.

[0112] According to another aspect of the invention, a tote drawer unit is provided for use in a supply management system of a healthcare facility. The tote drawer unit includes a housing configured to carry patient-care supplies, a handle for facilitating handling of the housing, and at least one feature adapted to engage a portion of a hospital bed to couple the tote drawer unit selectively to the hospital bed.

[0113] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the housing includes at least one interior wall forming a plurality of compartments for holding patient-care supplies.

[0114] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, a door is coupled to the housing to selectively close at least one of the compartments.

[0115] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the at least one feature is adapted to engage a cabinet to couple the tote drawer unit to the cabinet.

[0116] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, the at least one feature is adapted to engage a portion of a mobile supply cart to couple the tote drawer unit to the mobile supply cart for transportation of the tote drawer unit therewith.

[0117] According to another aspect of the invention, a method of supply management in a healthcare facility includes providing a tote drawer unit configured to carry patient-care supplies, and providing on the tote drawer unit at least one feature adapted to engage a portion of a hospital bed to couple the tote drawer unit selectively to the hospital bed.

[0118] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing a tote drawer unit includes providing a tote drawer unit including at least one interior wall forming a plurality of compartments for holding patient-care supplies.

[0119] Further illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing a tote drawer unit includes providing a door to selectively close at least one of the compartments.

[0120] Additionally illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing on the tote drawer unit at least one feature adapted to engage a portion of a hospital bed includes providing on the tote drawer unit at least one feature adapted to engage a cabinet to couple the tote drawer unit to the cabinet.

[0121] Illustratively according to this aspect of the invention, providing on the tote drawer unit at least one feature adapted to engage a portion of a hospital bed includes providing on the tote drawer unit at least one feature adapted to engage a mobile supply cart to couple the tote drawer unit to the mobile supply cart for transportation of the tote drawer unit therewith.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0122]FIG. 1 illustrates a fragmentary perspective view of a patient care system in a hospital room, the system including a modular work cell having a hand-washing portion, a supply-and-waste cabinet portion, a data-communication portion, and a network connection;

[0123]FIG. 2 illustrates a fragmentary sectional view taken generally along section lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the hand-washing portion, the supply-and-waste cabinet portion, and the data-communication portion, with a patient communicating through a window in the data-communication portion with a caregiver operating a keyboard at a monitor in the hallway outside the room;

[0124] FIG.3 illustrates a fragmentary perspective view of the data-communication portion showing a recess formed therein, a hallway shelf supporting the keyboard and monitor, and a chair positioned in the recess;

[0125]FIG. 4 illustrates a fragmentary sectional view taken generally along section lines 4-4 of FIG. 2 showing the data-communication portion including the window, a room shelf supporting a room keyboard, and a rotating mount supporting the monitor on the hallway shelf for pivoting movement between a position facing into the room and a position facing the hallway, the rotating mount being a pulley operatively coupled by a belt to a second pulley in the room with a crank arm attached thereto to permit a person in the room to rotate the monitor;

[0126]FIG. 5 illustrates a fragmentary perspective view of a second embodiment of a cabinet accessible from within or outside the room in the hallway, first, second, and third tote drawer units for transporting and housing supplies, and a mobile cart for carrying supplies in standard drawers and in the tote drawer units;

[0127]FIG. 6 illustrates a fragmentary sectional view taken generally along section lines 6-6 of FIG. 5 showing an upper portion of the cabinet of FIG. 5, showing doors coupled to a front portion of the cabinet and a second door coupled to a rear portion of the cabinet; and

[0128]FIG. 7 illustrates a fragmentary sectional view taken generally along section lines 7-7 of FIG. 5 showing the third tote drawer unit coupled to a foot board of a hospital bed, hook-shaped retainers coupling the tote drawer unit to the foot board, and compartments inside the tote drawer unit for storing supplies.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0129] As illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, a patient care system 10 is provided in a patient room 12 to improve the efficiency with which care is provided to a patient. Patient room 12 is separated by a wall 14 from a hallway 16. Patient care system 10 includes a modular work cell 20 cooperating with wall 14. Modular work cell 20 includes a hand-washing portion 30, a supply-and-waste cabinet portion 50, and a data-communication portion 70. Illustratively, supply-and-waste cabinet portion 50 is next to hand-washing portion 30, and data-communication portion 70 is next to supply-and-waste portion 50, as illustrated in FIGS. 1-2. Portions 30, 50, 70 of illustrative work cell 20 are formed integrally with one another. However, it is within the scope of this disclosure for portions 30, 50, 70 to be formed separately and coupled to wall 14 or coupled together with fasteners. It is also within the scope of this disclosure to use any of portions 30, 50, 70 with or without the other portions, to position them in any order, or to space them apart from one another.

[0130] As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, modular work cell 20 includes a back wall 24 that is shared by portions 30 and 50. Back wall 24 extends along wall 14 of hospital room 12 in which a doorway 22 is formed. Ceiling panel 40 extends from the top of back wall 24 perpendicular thereto as illustrated in FIG. 1. A first vertical wall 46 separates hand-washing portion 30 from supply-and-waste portion 50 and a second vertical wall 48 separates supply-and-waste portion 50 from data-communication portion 70. Each of walls 46, 48 extends from back wall 24 perpendicular thereto. Ceiling panel 40 is illustratively shared by portions 30, 50, 70. However, it is within the scope of this disclosure to omit ceiling panel 40 from one or more of portions 30, 50, 70 and couple back wall 24 and/or walls 46, 48 to wall 14 or a ceiling 15 of room 12.

[0131] As illustrated in FIG. 1, hand-washing portion 30 includes a counter or shelf 32 extending from back wall 24. Shelf 32 is coupled to back wall 24 and to wall 46. Shelf 32 includes a sink 34, a water faucet 36, and handles 38 for turning hot and cold water on and off. Hand-washing portion 30 is illuminated by a task light 42 provided in ceiling panel 40. Illustratively, hand-washing portion 30 is positioned in room 12 near doorway 22 to encourage hand-washing upon entry and prior to exit from room 12.

[0132] Supply-and-waste portion 50 includes an upper shelf 52 coupled to and extending between walls 24, 46, 48. An intermediate shelf 54 below upper shelf 52 and a lower shelf 56 below intermediate shelf 54 are similarly coupled to walls 24, 46, 48. A first space 58 is bounded by shelf 52, a portion of ceiling panel 40, and walls 46, 48. A second space 60 is bounded by shelf 52, shelf 54, and walls 46, 48. A third space 62 is bounded by shelf 54, lower shelf 56, and walls 46, 48. Supplies (not shown) such as linens, drugs, wound dressings, sterilized syringes, and the like can be placed in spaces 58, 60. A waste bin, basket, or receptacle (not shown) can be placed in space 62. Supply-and-waste portion 50 includes doors 59, 61, 63 coupled to second wall 48 to selectively close spaces 58, 60, 62, as illustrated in FIG. 1. As explained more fully below with reference to FIGS. 5 and 6, it is within the scope of this disclosure for access openings to be provided in hospital room wall 14 and in back wall 24 so that an attendant can access each of spaces 58, 60, 62 from the hallway to deliver supplies and remove waste without having to enter the hospital room.

[0133] As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, data-communication portion 70 includes a side wall 72 and a front wall 74 coupled to and extending perpendicularly between side wall 72 and wall 48. Illustratively, front wall 74 extends into room 12 and is generally flush with doors 59, 61, 63 to provide a recess 76 in data-communication portion 70 in hallway 16. Recess 76, illustratively bounded by walls 48, 72, 74, permits a caregiver using data-communication portion 70 to get out of traffic in hallway 16. It is within the scope of this disclosure for side wall 72 to be a wall of room 12 or a wall installed with, and/or as a part of, modular work cell 20.

[0134] As illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, data-communication portion 70 includes a privacy window 78 (illustratively incorporating a liquid crystal display or LCD) that can be activated by a patient or a caregiver to change the window from transparent to opaque to prevent viewing through window 78. Window 78 is oriented in wall 74 to permit a caregiver to see the patient from hallway 16 and to see equipment such as monitors and the like. Operation of the LCD feature can be limited to caregivers, the patient, or other designees for safety, privacy, and security. Limitations can be maintained by coupling the LCD to a system that limits access, for example, by requiring entry of a security code before the LCD feature will function to render the window opaque or transparent.

[0135] As illustrated in FIG. 1, data-communication portion 70 includes a work stool 80 beneath window 78. Illustrative work stool 80 includes a triangular frame 82 pivotably mounted to wall 74 and a seat 84 carried by frame 82. Portion 70 includes a room shelf 86 coupled to front wall 74 inside room 12 below window 78 and above stool 80. A hallway shelf 88 is coupled below window 78 to the outside of front wall 74 and extends into recess 76.

[0136] As illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, data-communication portion 70 includes a display terminal or monitor 90 pivotally mounted to hallway shelf 88. Monitor 90 is positioned to be viewed through window 78 and is equipped with a rotating mount 92 to turn the monitor between a first position facing the room (illustrated in FIG. 1) and a second position facing the hallway (illustrated in FIGS. 2-4). Rotating mount 92 can be actuated from inside room 12 or in hallway 16. Illustratively, rotating mount 92 includes a first pulley coupled to a second pulley 94 by a belt 96 extending through an opening provided therefor in wall 14. A crank 98 is coupled to second pulley 94. First and second pulleys 92, 94 are coupled to hallway shelf 88 and room shelf 86, respectively, for rotation. As a caregiver turns crank 98 about axis 100, belt 96 rotates mount 92 about axis 102 and this in turn rotates monitor 90. A similar crank arm can be coupled to rotating mount 92 so that the caregiver can rotate monitor 90 from hallway 16. It is within the scope of this disclosure to couple monitor 90 to shelf 88 for pivoting movement relative to shelf 88 using any suitable method, including a switched electric motor coupled to monitor 90, or the like.

[0137] As illustrated in FIG. 1, data-communication portion 70 further includes first and second keyboards 104, 106 in communication with monitor 90. Keyboards 104, 106, positioned in room 12 and hallway 16 respectively, cooperate with monitor 90 to permit a caregiver or patient to interact with a database, computer, or computer network 108. A dual-screen computer terminal 110 is coupled to front wall 74 by an articulated counterbalance arm 112. An activity-tracking sensor 114 is illustratively mounted to the ceiling of the hospital room; however, it is within the scope of this disclosure to couple sensor 114 to ceiling panel 40 or another part of modular work cell 20. Sensor 114 sends signals to and receives signals from a communication badge 116 worn by the caregiver to track the presence and activities of the caregiver. Monitor 90, keyboards 104, 106, terminal 110, sensor 114, hand-washing equipment of portion 30, and asset-tracking sensors (not shown) for sensing the presence of supplies in spaces 58, 60 of portion 50, are all connected electrically to the hospital database, computer, or computer network as indicated by the diagrammatic dashed lines 108 illustrated in FIG. 1. Terminal 110, keyboards 104, 106, and monitor 90 can be used to enter or retrieve patient data, to manually enter supply refill orders or waste removal orders, to automatically receive supply data, and to carry out similar activities. Illustratively, devices such as terminal 10, keyboards 104, 106 can include, serve as, be part of, or communicate with a supply data receiver to receive the supply data from a supply data source such as a manual entry device or an automatic supply sensor. Manual entry devices can include keyboards, keypads, touch screens, voice systems, and the like. Automatic supply sensors can include proximity sensors, weight sensors to measure a quantity of supplies remaining, bar code readers to record items remaining or items as they are used, and the like.

[0138] Hand-washing portion 30 also includes monitoring equipment (not shown) that operates to monitor whether a caregiver washes his/her hands at the appropriate time, such as upon entering the hospital room or just prior to exiting the hospital room. The hand-washing monitoring equipment provides an alarm signal, such as an audible alarm or a visible alarm, to remind the caregiver to wash his/her hands when the hand-washing equipment senses parameters that indicate that the caregiver has not washed his/her hands.

[0139] Another aspect of patient care system 10 is illustrated in FIGS. 5-7. As illustrated in FIG. 5, modular work cell 20 includes a second embodiment of a supply-and-waste portion, including a cabinet 120 situated in an opening formed in hospital room wall 14. Cabinet 120 is accessible in patient room 12 through a front 122 of cabinet 120 and is accessible in hallway 16 through a rear 123 of cabinet 120. An upper portion 124 of cabinet 120 (a.k.a. a pass-through nurse server) includes a space in which a first tote drawer unit 126 is received. A second tote drawer unit 128 is illustrated in FIG. 5 being removed from a mobile supply cart 118 and arranged for insertion into the upper portion 124 of cabinet 120 from hallway 16. Second tote drawer unit 128 replaces first tote drawer unit 126 in upper portion 124 of cabinet 120 once first unit 126 is removed. A third tote drawer unit 130 is also illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 7 coupled to a foot board 132 of a hospital bed 134. In this orientation, third tote drawer unit 130 can be transported with bed 134 so that desired supplies can move with the bed 134.

[0140] As illustrated in FIG. 7, each tote drawer unit 126, 128, 130 includes spaces or compartments 136 of shapes and sizes to house various patient-care supplies such as, for example, linens, drigs, wound dressings, sterilized syringes, and the like. It is understood that tote drawer units 126, 128, 130 are interchangeable with each other and can be moved between mobile supply cart 118, cabinet 120, and bed 134. Tote drawer units 126, 128, 130 can be re-supplied while the tote drawer units are coupled to cabinet 120 or on foot board 132 using supplies stored on board supply cart 118, for example. If desired, tote drawer units 126, 128, 130 with depleted supplies can be swapped with restocked tote drawer units.

[0141] As illustrated in FIG. 5, supply cart 118 includes several drawer openings 146 to hold standard drawers for supplies to refill the tote drawer units. Alternatively, tote drawer units 126, 128, 130 can be placed in drawer openings 146 or can be attached to push handles 148 that are coupled to sides 150 of mobile supply carts 118. The tote drawer units can be stocked with supplies at other locations in the hospital, such as a supply room or pharmacy, and transported to hospital room 12, for example on cart 118.

[0142] As illustrated in FIG. 7, each tote drawer unit 126, 128, 130 includes a housing 137 having coupled thereto an upper carrying handle 138 and a pair of retainers or rear handles 140. Retainers 140 hold tote drawer units 126, 128, 130 in position on mobile supply cart 118, in cabinet 120, or on foot board 132 of bed 134. Illustratively, retainers 140 include somewhat hook-shaped portions 142 that hook over an upper edge 144 of foot board 132 when the associated tote drawer unit 126, 128, 130 is mounted to bed 134. Retainers 140 also cooperate with upper portion 124 of cabinet 120 and handle 148 of mobile supply cart 118 to hold tote drawer units 126, 128, 130 in the desired position. Compartments 136 illustratively include flip-out doors 139 coupled to housing 137 to retain articles therein during movement of tote drawer units 126, 128, 130.

[0143] As illustrated in FIG. 5, cabinet 120 also includes a pair of waste-management bins 160 and a set of foot pedals 162 that are depressed to open associated waste-management bins 160. Each bin 160, is biased to close automatically when the associated foot pedal 162 is released, retracting into lower portion 125 of cabinet 120. A sharps-disposal bin 164 is included in the upper portion 124 of cabinet 120. Used needles, syringes, and the like are placed in sharps-disposal bin 164 for later disposal. Waste placed in bins 160, 164 can be removed from the backside of cabinet 120 in hallway 16 and transported away for disposal of their contents.

[0144] As illustrated in FIG. 6, cabinet 120 is positioned in wall 14 and is accessible from the hallway 16 or inside room 12. Upper portion 124 of cabinet 120 includes a first door 190 accessible inside room 12 and a second door 192 accessible in hallway 16. Hinges 194 movably couple doors 190, 192 to upper portion 124 for movement between open positions (illustrated in phantom) permitting access to an interior of cabinet 120 and closed positions (illustrated in solid lines). Doors 190, 192 can include locks (not shown) to prevent access to the contents of cabinet 120 by unauthorized persons from inside room 12, from hallway 16, or both. It is within the scope of this disclosure for cabinet 120 to include additional doors with or without locks to permit access to different portions of cabinet 120, including sharps disposal or other waste disposal, limiting access to these various portions of cabinet 120 to proper hospital personnel. As illustrated in FIG. 5, a task light 196 is coupled to upper portion 122 of cabinet 120 above the space that receives tote drawer units 126, 128, 130. As illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, cabinet 120 includes a work shelf 198 below front door 190.

[0145] As illustrated in FIG. 5, patient care system 10 further includes a computer terminal or touch-screen monitor 170 coupled to wall 14. It is within the scope of this disclosure to couple terminal 170 to cabinet 120. Caregivers use computer terminal 170 to enter supply information such as usage or refill orders. It is within the scope of this disclosure for computer terminal 170 to be part of a networked computer system that also serves to permit automatic entry, recording, and monitoring of patient data.. Illustratively, devices such as terminal 170 can include, serve as, be part of, or communicate with a supply data receiver to receive the supply data from a supply data source such as a manual entry device or an automatic supply sensor. Manual entry devices can include keyboards, keypads, touch screens, voice systems, and the like. Automatic supply sensors can include proximity sensors, weight sensors to measure a quantity of supplies remaining, bar code readers to record items remaining in stock, or items as they are used, and the like.

[0146] As illustrated in FIG. 5, patient care system 10 further includes a plurality of mobile supply carts 118 (only one of which is illustrated in FIG. 5) that are located throughout the healthcare facility. Each cart 118 includes a cart housing 180, a data entry and management unit 184 carried by housing 180, and a transmitter/receiver unit 182 carried by housing 180. Data entry and management unit 184 is used for inventory control to record supply management data, such as the type and quantity of supplies being added to or removed from the associated cart 118. In one embodiment, data entry and management unit 184 receives from receiver 182 a signal containing information regarding needed supplies in patient room 12. Supply personnel can then use this information to stock the cart with proper supplies and deliver the supplies to room 12. For example, a caregiver can place supply refill orders using monitor 170. The order information is sent to a hospital computer (not shown) of a hospital computer network (not shown). The network transmits a signal to one or more carts 118 that contain the needed supplies to alert the attendants of the respective one or more carts 118 to deliver the needed supplies. Data entry and management unit 184 can be a stand-alone computer, or may be somewhat less sophisticated, for example, a keyboard, barcode reader and/or the like coupled to the transmitter/receiver 182.

[0147] It is within the scope of this disclosure that supply information is entered to the network automatically or manually. For example, supply data can be entered to a supply data receiver using an automatic supply sensor such as a device that automatically determines the quantities of certain supplies present or used, or supply data can be entered on a manual entry device. Such supply data sources can comprise, for example, a scanning system such as a bar code reader to record presence of remaining supplies or the use of a supply item, a weight sensor to detect the amount of remaining supplies, or a manual entry system, such as a keyboard or keypad, to track usage or remaining supplies. It is also within the scope of this disclosure that the exchange of data relating to supplies, relating to the condition of the patient, and the like can take place by any suitable method, such as, a wireless, optical, or wired network of computers, databases, and the like. It is within the scope of this disclosure to record such patient or supply data on memory coupled to carts 118, terminal 170, data entry and management unit 184, tote drawer units 126, 128, 130, or other devices, to be connected to the network later for transmission of the data to the network at a convenient time. It is also within the scope of this disclosure for transmitter/receiver unit 182 to inform caregivers of the locations of carts 118 and the supplies that are on board the carts 118.

[0148] Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to certain illustrative embodiments, variations and modifications exist within the scope and spirit of the invention as described and defined in the following claims.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/36.4
International ClassificationA61M1/00, E04B2/74, A61G7/02, A61G9/02, A61G7/05, A61G7/00, A61M16/00, A61M5/14, A61G7/053, G06F19/00, H01R13/00, A61G7/018, A61G13/00, H01R13/631, A61G12/00, A61G10/00, A61G7/015
Cooperative ClassificationA61G7/0015, A61G7/015, A61G13/108, A61G2007/0524, E04B2002/7488, H01R2201/12, A61G7/0005, A61M5/1415, A61G10/00, A61M16/00, A61G7/0503, G06F19/322, H01R13/6315, E04B2002/7483, A61G12/001, A61G7/02, H01R13/005, A61G2007/0509, A61M2209/084, A61G7/0507, G06F19/3418, G06F19/3406, A61G2007/0514, A61G2205/00, A61G2007/0513, A61G12/002, A61G13/107, A61G12/004, A61G7/053, E04B2/745, A61G2203/80, A61G9/02, G06F19/3481, A61M1/0013, A61G7/00, A61G7/018, G06F19/327, G06F19/3468, A61M2209/082, A61G12/008, A61G12/005
European ClassificationG06F19/34A, G06F19/32C, A61M5/14R2, E04B2/74C4B, A61G7/00, A61G7/05S, A61G7/00B, A61G9/02, A61G7/02, A61G12/00S, G06F19/34N, A61G7/05H, A61G12/00, A61G10/00, A61G13/10R
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 15, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: HILL-ROM SERVICES, INC., INDIANA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:GALLANT, DENNIS J.;LANCI, DENNIS M.;REEL/FRAME:013384/0189;SIGNING DATES FROM 20020808 TO 20020912