US 20050029156 A1
A medication organizer system includes an arrangement of day of the week containers with each container divided into separate time of the day compartments. Each time of the day compartment has pictorial indicia which readily signifies a specific respective time of the day. A medication organized worksheet is provided with medication/pill identifying pictorial indicia and an imprinted grid which tracts the container and compartment arrangement; the grid having juxtaposed imprinted pictorial indicia corresponding to the compartment pictorial indicia. A sheet of adhesive backed peel-off numerals is provided, whereby a peeled-off numeral is adhered to the medication organizer worksheet juxtaposed to the grid and another peeled-off same numeral is adhered to the container for the specific medication. A medication organizer instruction sheet containing pictorials is provided to permit a layperson to readily use the medication organizer system.
1. A medication organizer system comprising;
day of the week containers, each container comprising a plurality of separate compartments for containing medication elements for dispensing from each compartment, each compartment comprising a respective pictorial indicia which is readily cognizable as representing a particular respective time of the day, said containers being arrayed according to the days of the week so that said compartments are disposed in an arrangement; and
a medication organizer worksheet display comprising a grid, said grid comprising spaces corresponding to the arrangement, said worksheet display further comprising pictorial indicia corresponding to the compartments' pictorial indicia, said display pictorial indicia being juxtaposed to the grid, means for inserting a numeral for designating a specific medication, and means for marking the grid corresponding to the prescribed time of the day and day of the week for administering the numeral designated specific medication, said numeral being inserted on the worksheet display, wherein the specific medication and specific medication administration regimen are readily discerned from the worksheet display whereby the medication elements are readily correctly organized in the respective compartments.
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1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a medication organizer system. Specifically, this invention relates to a medication organizer system particularly suitable for use by persons with limited language skills, limited pharmacology acumen and/or advanced age.
2. Discussion of the Prior Art
It is known in the pillbox art to provide time and day of the week compartments for separately holding pills. The patient or user however requires a certain level of language facility and pharmacology acumen to correctly organize the pills in the appropriate pill box compartments. Such prior art pill box constructions are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,749,085 to Denney, U.S. Pat. No. Des. 393,203 to Saltzman and U.S. Pat. No. 5,558,229 to Halbich.
It is also known in the prior art to provide a pill box holder with separately removable day of the week compartments with each day of the week compartment divided into four separate time of the day compartments imprinted with “MORN”, “NOON”, “EVE” and “BED” designations as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,749,085, to Denney. The Denney pill box holder permits transport of a desired day of the week compartment without transport of the entire week's worth of medication. The elongated ribs hold the compartments in separate spaces, but are not generally sufficient to prevent unwanted removal of the compartments.
It is also known in the prior art to provide information displays in connection with pillbox constructions to assist the user in organizing the medication. Such medication organizers and dispensing systems are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,464,506 to Welles, U.S. Pat. No. 5,174,451 to Niven, U.S. Pat. No. 4,889,237 to Brandon, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,473,156 to Martin. In general, such prior art constructions are used by professional medical care providers and particularly in hospitals and nursing homes. The medication organizers of the Welles and Niven patents are exemplary of constructions suitable for use by professional medical care providers. These prior art organizers were not generally suitable for use by persons with limited language skills and/or limited pharmacology acumen and/or the elderly.
It is also known in the prior art to provide a guidance/reminder calendar to assist in the administration of medication as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,031,937 to Nellhaus. This Nellhaus guidance/reminder calendar included pictorial time of the day designations and picture stamps reflecting respective units of medication.
The art desires a simplified medication organizer system, which permits a patient or user with limited language skills and/or limited pharmacology acumen and/or the elderly to readily correctly organize diverse medications in the correct respective pill box compartments. The art also desires a system, as immediately aforesaid, which is readily transportable, and particularly so for any particular days of the week, rather than having to transport the entire medication organizer and dispenser system when only one or two days of medication is required and wherein the un-removed compartments remain secured in place
The present invention provides solutions to the aforementioned prior art needs, resolves the aforementioned deficiencies in the prior art constructions, and provides a practical solution to the several impediments attendant the aforesaid prior art medication organizers. The present invention provides a practical medication organizer system for persons having limited language skills, limited pharmacology acumen and/or advanced age.
The term “medication element” as used hereinbefore and hereinafter throughout the specification and claims refers to any medication or therapeutic intervention in a specific physical form, particularly including, but not limited to, oral administration medications, e.g., pills, capsules, caplets, and the like, and non-oral administration forms of medications, e.g., transdermal patches, and the like.
The medication organizer system includes a plurality of separable day of the week i.e., Sunday through Saturday medication element containers or pillboxes. Each container or pill box is inscribed with the respective day of the week, i.e. “SUN” through “SAT”. Each day of the week container or pill box has walls separating the pill box into several, usually four, time of the day compartments. Each time of the day compartment cover is imprinted with a respective pictorial, which is readily cognizable as signifying a specific time of the day. The pictorial includes a house, horizon, sun, moon and/or stars. The pictorials are readily cognizable by a lay person as signifying a specific time of day, such as, morning/daybreak, noon/midday, dusk/early evening and late evening/nighttime/bedtime. The separate time of the day compartments have hinged lids or covers. The pictorials are boldly imprinted on the respective compartment covers, and are readily viewable and cognizable by the user.
A medication organizer worksheet display is provided as an integral part of the medication organizer system. The medication organizer worksheet display may be a plurality of separable pages or paper sheets. One or more grids are imprinted on each sheet. The grid tracts and corresponds to the day of the week and times of the day arrangement of the compartments. The respective day of the week designations “SUN” through “SAT” are imprinted on the worksheet juxtaposed to the grid. Imprinted pictorials corresponding to the time of the day compartment pictorials are imprinted on the worksheet juxtaposed to the grid. Medication and medication element or pill identifying indicia, such as by way of example, written information, imprinted pictorial and imprinted color indicia are juxtaposed to each grid. The healthcare provider, medication provider or patient (where appropriate) writes or marks the medication and pill identifying indicia to specify the prescribed medication and the dosage. A paper sheet containing a plurality of adhesive backed peel-off numerals is provided. The healthcare provider or user peels off a numeral corresponding to a specific medication. The peeled-off numeral is adhesively bonded to the worksheet in a dedicated space juxtaposed to the grid. Another peeled-off same numeral is adhesively applied to the medication prescription container to numerically identify the corresponding specific medication. The adhesively applied numerals numerically identify the prescribed medication on the grid and on the pharmacy supplied medication prescription container. The user then checks the grid spaces to signify the correct day(s) of the week and time(s) of the day that that prescribed specific medication is to be administered.
A medication organizer system instructions display is also a part of the present invention. The instructions display may be in the form of a laminated sheet having imprinted pictorials and text instructions. The pictorials include a pictorial of the grid, a pictorial of the worksheet and a pictorial of a pharmacy supplied medication prescription container. The text instructs the user in (i) completing the grid related information on the worksheet, (ii) adhesively applying a numeral to the pharmacy supplied medication container and (iii) applying the same numeral in a space provided on the worksheet juxtaposed to the worksheet information and grid corresponding specific medication. The user may also be provided with an illustrative pictorial example of organizing the diverse medication elements or pills in the medication compartments.
In the aforesaid manner of construction, the user is pictorially and numerically instructed as to the correct dosage for each medication at the correct day and time of the day. A professional healthcare provider or user may fill in the medication dosage information sheet and grid, and apply the numerals. The patient, even including one of limited language skills, limited pharmacology acumen and/or advanced age, may then readily follow the pictorial indicia, the numeral(s), and the marked-in grid to place the correct pills in the correct number in the correct day(s) of the week and time(s) of the day compartments. The medication organizer system minimizes, if not eliminates, pill organization errors.
The user, when traveling, may remove any one or more of the day of the week compartments from a carry tray with the pills contained in the compartments. The unremoved compartments remain securely in place by means of opposed short projections integrally formed in the tray. A fabric carry bag is provided to carry the removed compartments and worksheet (filled in) and if desired, the instructions sheet and adhesive peel-off numerals sheet. This construction provides a practical readily transportable medication organizer travel system.
Referring to the Figures, there is shown the medication organizer system 10 of the present invention. System 10 includes pillbox 100 having an array of separate day of the week or daily medication containers 11. Each medication container 11 has a different day of the week designation viz. “SUN” through “SAT” inscribed at top or front portion 12. Each medication container 11 is composed of four separate medication compartments 13, 14, 15 and 24. A different pictorial 20, 21, 22 and 23 is imprinted on each respective compartment cover 48, 49, 50 and 51. Each pictorial is a respective specific combination of the following images: a house, the horizon, the sun and/or the moon/stars, as best shown in
Referring specifically to
Pillbox 100 includes plastic tray 60. Plastic tray 60 is formed with a front wall 61, rear portion or wall 62, opposed sidewalls 64 and 65, bottom wall 66 and hinged transparent cover 67. Walls 61, 62, 64, 65 and 66 form rectilinear recess 68. A series of opposed detents or short projections 69 (typical) are formed on tray bottom wall 66. The container 11 is size to be press-fitted into recess 68 in tray 60 disposed between and contactingly engaged by ends 70 (typical) of short projections 69. Container 11 front 40 is formed with a rounded forwardly extending lip 73. The user may engage lip 73 to selectively remove a desired day of the week container 11, without disturbing or moving the other containers 11. Tray 60 rear portion 62 is provided with corresponding day of the week imprinted designations 204, viz. “SUN”-“SAT”, juxtaposed to the corresponding container designations 12. That is, each container 11 is disposed and arranged in tray 60 with the corresponding juxtaposed day of the week designations.
The user has the option of carrying a complete week's supply of daily medication by having all the day of the week containers disposed in tray 60, or alternatively, may selectively remove any one more specific day of the week containers for ready separate transport. With specific reference to
As previously discussed, short projections 69 tightly secure containers 11, whereby unremoved containers do not slide or slip out of place. The user is then not faced with the attendant confusion of unwanted containers slipping or falling out of the tray, in removing containers 11 for separate transport. A travel bag 80 may be provided to conveniently carry one or more of the day of the week container 11 bearing the pills, the completed medication worksheet 90, the system instructions sheet 250, and optionally additional peel off numerals sheet 191 (
Referring specifically to
Other numerical and grid arrangements are within the contemplation of the present invention. The user or healthcare provider may insert a single numeral in a space juxtaposed to a specific medication identification and respective grid. The user may then, using a writing instrument, mark or check the grid locations corresponding to the days and times of the day that specific medication is to be taken. It is also within the contemplation of the present invention that the worksheet and/or instructions sheet be in the form of display such as a display on a computer monitor or palm pilot
Having thus described a presently preferred embodiment of the present invention, it will be appreciated that the objects of the invention have been achieved, and it will be understood by those skilled in the art that changes in construction and widely differing embodiments and applications of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. The disclosures and description herein are intended to be illustrative and are not in any sense limiting of the invention, which is defined in accordance with the adjoined claims.