US 3715148 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 6, 1973 c, E Ls 3,715,148
MEDICINE DIS PENS ING CAB INET Filed June 3. 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet l W Z0 40 I I g l INVEN TOR. m mrroeo 1. 5545 dmroe/vm Feb. 6, 1973 c, BEALs 3,715,148
MEDICINE DISPENSING CABINET Filed June 3, 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR CL/FFOPfi .4. 6.54
United States Patent @lhce 3,715,148 Patented Feb. 6, 1973 3,715,148 MEDICINE DISPENSING CABINET Clifford L. Beals, 326 N. Riverside Ave., Rialto, Calif. 92310 Filed June 3, 1971, Ser. No. 149,731 Int. Cl. A47b 81/00, 91/00 US. Cl. 312-209 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The dispensing of medicine in a hospital, convalescent home, or similar facility, has long been a time-consuming tedious procedure, and a procedure involving many steps which are subject to possible error. In a hospital facility where the number of patients are in the many tens or hundreds, there must be a careful, closely supervised procedure for administering medicine prescribed by each patients physician. Typically, the hospital or home will maintain a medical storage facility. A nurse, or licensed vocational nurse will prepare the medication from the doctors prescription on the basis of three or more times per day. As medications are typically given at least three times a day, a nurse must make three separate preparations. The preparation is then carried from the medical storage facility to the patients bedside and administered at the time requested by the doctor. Frequently the rnedications will be prepared and placed in a small paper cup which is laid on a piece of paper containing the patients name. Several of these cups are placed on a tray and hand carried to a particular area within the hospital. At the juncture of each of these steps there is a possibility of error as each medication is handled several times before it arrives at the patients bedside. Frequently the nurse will be called to handle an emergency during the time that she is dispensing the medicine. This distraction can possibly cause confusion and an accidental switching of medicines.
A device has long been needed to assist the nurse in the proper administration of medicines to patients. Such a device must provide a measure of security. The device must also safeguard against an accidental switching of one patients medicine for another. The device must be easy to transport from one location to another, It must carefully segregate one patients medicine from another and provide an absolutely safe method of identifying each patients medicine. It must further segregate each patients medications into as many applications per day as is prescribed by the physician. In other words, if the doctor requires medicine to be administered four times in one day, the device must have a means of separating the medicine for each time. Such a device must be efiicient and easy for the nurse to use, as well as having the capacity for easy loading by the pharmacist.
The invention disclosed in this application solves each of the above mentioned problems and meets each of the above mentioned requirements.
The object of this invention is to provide a medicine dispensing cabinet for use in hospitals or convalescent homes which will provide a secure method of storing individually prescribed medicines.
A further object of the invention is to provide a medicine dispensing cabinet which will safeguard against an accidental intermingling of one patients medicine with another.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a medicine dispensing cabinet which is easy to transport, facilitates an easy dispensing of medicine, that is easy to load by a pharmacist.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a medicine dispensing cabinet which will carefully segregate each patients medicine from another, and further segregate the individual patients medicine as to two or more time-dispensing intervals during the day.
A still further object of the invention is to provide an absolutely safe means of identifying the medications.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the medicine dispensing cabinet with the doors open showing all components.
FIG. 2 is a top view of the medicine dispensing cabinet showing the lamp removed from the socket, and the location of the casters on the bottom.
FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the prescription tray.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the prescription tray showing the hinge pin and one transparent lid partially removed.
FIG. 5 is a front view of the prescription tray.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged front view showing the springbiased hinged lid partially open.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view showing the relative position of the prescription tray with the patients identifying information on the resilient clip-handle, and a data card being held by the clip.
Referring to the drawings, a cabinet 10 will be seen in FIG. 1. The doors 11 are in the open position. The cabinet carries a plurality of drawers 12. The drawers 12 are slidably mounted to the interior side walls of the cabinet 10 by means of a flange 13 sliding within a groove or channel 14 atfixed to the interior side of the cabinet. larger drawers 15, 16, and 17 can be seen. These drawers can be used to carry larger medications or in the case of drawer 16, it is provided with a separate lock 18 and used for the purpose of storing narcotics. A reading lamp 20 is mounted by means of a flexible neck 21 and powered by a battery 22. There is nothing new about the combination of the lamp 20, neck 21 and battery 22. These are a well-known combination and have been adapted for use with the cabinet to provide for ease in reading the identification information during the nighttime hours.
A plurality of trays 30 slide into their storage position and rest on the drawers 12. One of the casters 19 can be seen.
Referring now to FIG. 2 the position of the casters '19 is disclosed, and the drawing further shows the lamp 20 and neck 21 detached from its socket 23. The lamp contains a plug means 24 which can be inserted in socket 23 so that the lamp may be stored during the daytime hours. FIG. 2 also discloses handles 40, which are used in transporting the cabinet.
FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate the prescription tray 30. The tray itself is molded or extruded and comprises sides 32, floor 31, interior walls 33, front wall 34, and back wall 35. Interior walls 33 lie in the same relative plane as and in a spaced relationship with front wall 34 and back wall 35. Said front, back, and interior walls, 33, 34, and 35 are normal to the floor 31 and sides 32.
The transparent lid 50 forms cured lips 37. Tray 30 also forms along one side wall at the top curled lips 36. The lips 36 of the tray 30 and the lips 37 of the lid 50 receive the hinge pin 39. Each lid is spring-biased toward the closed position by means of springs 38 which also receive the hinge pin 39. The hinge pin 39 slides along and through each of the curled lips and springs. It can be seen from FIG. 4 that the lids may be removed by withdrawing the hinge pin. The lids '50 are made of transparent material to afford the nurse or pharmacist a view as to the contents of the tray.
FIG. 7 discloses the tray 30 and a detailed view of the side wall 32, front wall 34, lips 36 and 37, spring 38, lid 50, hinge pin 39 and drawer 12. It further discloses the resilient clip-handle 51. This clip is aflixed by cement to the bottom of the floor 31. It is continuous, parallels the floor, and bends upward forward of the front wall 34 and presses it by resilient action against front wall 34. At its extremity it is flanged outward in a plane parallel with the floor 31. The purpose of the flanged area 53 is to receive labels with names of patients and other identifying information. The drawer 12 illustrates a further label 54 giving information as to room number. A data card 52 is disclosed in a position between the front wall 34 and clip-handle 51. The flange 53 is used to remove the tray from its position on the drawer by simply placing a finger underneath the flange, lifting slightly and pulling out.
One means of using the medicine dispensing cabinet is as follows: Each patients prescription is given to the pharmacist. From the prescription the pharmacist determines for each patient which medicine is required and the specific times which it is required to be administered. The pharmacist prepares the proper medication and places it in an appropriate compartment within the patients tray. The tray is clearly marked with all of the patients required identifying information. The pharmacist uses as many compartments as is necessary, utilizing one compartment for each medication period. A label is placed on each transparent lid 50 identifying the medication within that compartment. Each medication is packaged in individually identified unit-dose packages with the name of the medication and the strength clearly marked. Any other identifying information required by appropriate state or federal law, or administrative regulation is placed on the data card 52. When the pharmacist has prepared all the medication for a given patient for the day, he then places the tray in its position in the cabinet on one of the drawers. After each patients medication has been prepared, the cabinet and its contents are taken to the hospital or convalescent home and it is dispensed at the proper time by the appropriate nurse. As she dispenses the medicine, the nurse carefully checks each medication and follows the applicable rules and laws for administration of such medicine. The use of the cabinet and its features adds an excellent degree of efficiency to the dispensing of the medicines, remove many of the steps she would have made herself, and greatly reduces the possibility of error.
I claim: 1. A device for dispensing medicine, which comprises: (a) a cabinet having a top, a bottom, a back wall, side walls, and one or more front doors; (b) a plurality of drawers mounted to the interior of said cabinet; (c) means for mounting said drawers; (d) a plurality of trays which rest on said drawers; (c) said trays each further comprising:
(1) a floor;
(2) a front wall and end Wall normal to and continuous with said floor;
(3) a plurality of interior walls each lying in a a plane parallel to and in a spaced relation with said front and end walls;
(4) two side walls normal to and continuous with said floor;
(5) a lid attached to one of said side walls;
(6) hinge means for attaching said lid comprising:
(i) a curled lip aflixed at the top of one side wall in a manner that it can receive and carry a hinge pin;
(ii) a curled lip affixed at the edge of said lid in a manner that it can receive and carry a hinge pin;
(iii) a hinge pin inserted into said curled lips;
(iv) a spring-bias means which tends the lid in the closed position.
(7) a resilient clip mounted to the bottom of said tray and projecting upward in front of the front wall and in a plane parallel with the plane of said front wall;
(8) a flange protruding outward from and normal to said clip.
(f) an illuminating means adjustable as to position and detachably afiixed to the top of said cabinet; (g) a rolling means afiixed at the bottom to allow the said cabinet to freely roll on a smooth surface floor when pushed or pulled.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,138,563 111/1938 Voorhees 312P209 U X 2,998,128 8/ 1961 Larson 312-2341 U X 2,999,599 9/1961 Ientzen 3l2245 U X 3,042,384 7/1962 Bauman 312236 X 3,106,010 l0/196 3 Morrell 16l89 X 3,150,902 9/1964 Naab et a1 312r209 U X 3,393,951 7/ 1968 Sullentic 312-350 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,035,331 6/1955 Germany 312-2341 PAUL R. GILLIAM, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 3112-450