US 20060242875 A1
A wristband particularly suited for infants, has separate printable tag that may be threaded onto a wristband to provide a widened axial segment for clean printing and scanning of a barcode. The bar code is positioned to extend along the wrist so as to remain relatively flat on a wrist that may be a small as an adult's thumb.
1. A pediatric identification wristband comprising:
a flexible strap sized to wrap around a wrist of a pediatric patient, a length of the strap extending circumferentially around the wrist and a width of the strap extending along an axis of the wrist perpendicular to the length;
a printable tag providing slots opposed along a length of the printable tag, the slots sized to receive the strap therethrough so that when the strap is wrapped about the wrist, the strap may hold the printable tag against the wrist with a portion of the length of the strap passing beneath the printable tag between the printable tag and the wrist under a printing area of the printable tag;
wherein the printable area has a width extending along the axis of the wrist greater than the width of the strap to receive a standard bar code aligned to be scanned along the axis of the wrist; and
a clasp means for attaching ends of the strap together about the wrist.
2. The pediatric identification wristband of
3. The pediatric identification wristband of
4. The pediatric identification wristband of
5. The pediatric identification wristband of
6. The pediatric identification wristband of
7. The pediatric identification wristband of
8. A pediatric identification wristband kit comprising:
a set of flexible straps sized to wrap around a wrist of a pediatric patient, a length of the strap extending circumferentially around the wrist and a width of the strap extending along an axis of the wrist perpendicular to the length;
clasp adapted to attach ends of the strap together about the wrist; and
a set of printable tags releasabily attached to a carrier material receivable for printing the tags in a printer, each printable tag, when released, providing slots opposed along a length of the printable tag, the slots sized to receive the strap therethrough so that when the strap is wrapped about the wrist, the strap holds the printable tag against the wrist with a portion of the length of the strap passing beneath the printable tag between the printable tag and the wrist beneath a printing area of the printable tag; wherein the printable area has a width extending along the axis of the wrist greater than the width of the strap to receive a standard bar code aligned to be scanned along the axis of the wrist.
9. The pediatric identification wristband kit of
10. The pediatric identification wristband kit of
11. The pediatric identification wristband kit of
12. The pediatric identification wristband of
13. The pediatric identification wristband of
14. The pediatric identification wristband of
15. The pediatric identification wristband of
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application 60/671,340 filed Apr. 14, 2005 and hereby incorporated by reference.
The present invention is related to identification wristbands and the like and, in, particular to a patient identification wristband tag suitable for pediatric use.
Wristbands are commonly used within a hospital to ensure that patients are correctly identified for medical treatment. A computer-controlled printer, tied to a patient record system, may be used to print identification information directly on the surface of the wristband or on a label that may be affixed to the wristband.
Some hospitals print a barcode, unique to the patient, onto the wristband, which may be scanned at the time medication is provided to the patient, either to automatically dispense the proper medication from a cart, or to ensure the proper medication container is selected by scanning a similar barcode on that container. Frequently in hospital environments patient identification wristbands are removed from the patients and require recreation and reapplication of a band with identifying patient information.
When barcodes are printed around the circumference of the wristband, curvature of the wrist, particularly for infants, can interfere with reliable scanning of the barcode. The curvature of the wristband can obscure portions of the barcode, cause crimping of the bar code, and prevent the entire bar code from being positioned within a scanning plane. Shrinking the size of the bar code to fit on small wristbands may not be possible because of limits in printer and scanner resolution and may be impractical because of the susceptibly of small barcodes to damage or dirt.
One solution to the problem of barcodes on wristbands for infants is to align the barcode along the axis of the wrist. Normally, this requires a wider than usual wristband that can interfere with movement by the infant, or the introduction of a wide section on the wristband to support the necessary length of the barcode. The latter type of wristband can be difficult to manufacture, and thus more expensive, and when printed directly by a printer, may require a special carrier for supporting the wristband during the printing process and a special type of clasp that is compatible with being passed through a printer. Special wristbands for infants can create problems in ordering and stocking wristbands in a hospital.
The present invention provides a wristband having a separate printable tag that may be threaded onto a wristband and which is suitable for providing a widened axial segment for clean printing and scanning of a barcode. When fully assembled, the bar code is positioned perpendicularly to the patient's appendage. The tags may be supplied on a roll or sheet, easily fed through a printer for printing multiple tags in a single pass for a single patient, and then removed as needed by means of perforations or partial die-cuts in the roll or sheet. The tags accept standard wristband straps and allow a single width of strap to be used with both infants and adults. The tags may be flexibly manufactured from a material that has high tensile strength and is non-absorbent, resistant to substances common to a health care environment, non-crimpable, hygienic, printable, able to be cut with rounded, non-irritating edges, latex free and not necessarily the same material used in the wristband straps.
Referring now to
In the present invention, the wristband strap 12 holds a tag 14 that provides a widening along an axis 16 of the wrist 11 increasing a visible area for printed information 20 and increasing a substantially planar axial length upon which to print an axially oriented barcode 22.
Referring now to
The material 24 around each tag 14 serves as a carrier for printing the tags 14 in a standard printer such as a thermal printer (not shown), for example, the Blaster Advantage, a thermal printer manufactured by Cognitive Solutions, Inc. of Golden, Colo. After printing of multiple tags 14, the tags 14 may be broken free for use. A hole 36 may be placed in the material 24 outside of the area of the tags 14 to allow the multiple tags 14 carried by the material 24 to be attached to a patient chart or the like.
Referring still to
The slots 28 allow the wristband strap 12 to conform closely to the wrist 11 of the patient while providing some looseness of the tag 14 that can permit increased patient wrist mobility and comfort. The two slots 28 ensure that the tag 14 does not loosely dangle from the patient as may catch or be torn off, increasing patient safety.
The printed information 20, as shown in
A single tag 14 may be used with wristband straps 12 having different lengths suitable for different patients, or can be used with a longer wristband strap 12 that can be cut in length based on patient size requirements.
It will be understood herein that the term “wristband” generally applies to bands for the arm or leg of a patient.
It is specifically intended that the present invention not be limited to the embodiments and illustrations contained herein, but include modified forms of those embodiments including portions of the embodiments and combinations of elements of different embodiments as come within the scope of the following claims.