US 3739341 A
An article and method which insure that a person or item is positively identified. A person or object is assigned a specific indicia by imprinting protuberances on a thin plate. The plate forms a "key" and will fit into a lock mechanism so as to actuate a light or other signal member indicating that the "key" and "lock" are properly mated and the person or the object is positively identified. The lock mechanism is formed by forming depressions to correspond with the precise placement of the protuberances on the "key." When the protuberances fit within the depressions a signal indicating proper mating is given.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Tessler June 12, 1973 CODED PLATE FOR eosmvn IDENTIFICATION  Inventor:
nue, Little Neck, NY.
22 Filed: Dec.7, 1970 211 Appl. No.: 95,565
Marvin Tessler, 260-05 57th Ave- 3,132,241 5/1964 Wolfheimer 340/149 A Primary Examiner-Harold I. Pitts AttorneyAlbert C. Johnston, Robert E. Isner, Lewis H.
Eslinger and Alvin Sinderbrand  ABSTRACT An article and method which insure that a person or item is positively identified. A person or object is assigned a specific indicia by imprinting protuberances on a thin plate. The plate forms a key and will fit into a lock mechanism so as to actuate a light or other signal member indicating that the key and lock are properly mated and the person or the object is positively identified. The lock mechanism is formed by forming depressions to correspond with the precise placement of the protuberances on the key. When the protuberances fit within the depressions a signal indicating proper mating is given.
7 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures Patented June 12, 1973 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR MARVIN TESSLER ATTORNEY Patented June 12, 1973 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 CONTACT CELL FIG 13.
INVENTOR m w my m W mx w ATTORNEY CODEI) PLATE FOR POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION This invention relates to the proper identification of the individuals, animals or objects and is particularly useful in hospitals where it is essential that items such as drugs, foods, blood or therapy be administered to a specific patient and not to another who may be severly injured or killed by non-prescribed treatment.
Generally, hospital procedure is that a patient has his name imprinted on a plastic bracelet secured to the arm of that person when the individual is admitted to the hospital. All items administered to the patient are marked with the individuals name and the article is given to that person. The problem with such a system is that it leaves a very wide margin for human error. For example, it is possible that a number of people in the hospital can have the same name. If this anomaly is not noticed immediately by hospital personnel one of the parties can receive a drug which was meant for another party having the same name and severe injury or death can result. Even when the problem of individuals having the same name is not present, other problems can occur through human error such as misreading a name or failure to check the name.
It is an object of this invention to obviate the aforementioned areas where human error or the failure to be thorough can lead to disastrous consequences.
The proper identification of an individual is based upon a lock and key principle where the patient wears the lock and the key is held by the person administering to the patient. If the key does not fit within the lock, then, the administering party is warned that he is not treating the right patient. On the other hand, if a positive signal is given then it is an indication that the proper patient is being treated.
Upon admission to the hospital, each patient is issued a master key having indicia thereon which identifies only that person. Even if three persons named James F. Smith enroll, they will have a different indicia in the form of a lock and key assigned to them which can be their social security number or any other code number. These indicia are imprinted on cells and are placed in proper numerical sequence within a hinged enclosure which is then secured. The hinged enclosure can then be fastened to the patients chart.
Duplicate keys are made by inserting the key cells in a plier type mechanism having hinged jaws in which the key cells are arranged within one of the jaws and a low density metal, plastic or paper member is arranged in the opposed jaw. When the handles forming the pliers are squeezed together the cells make an impression on the material in the other jaw thereby forming a key having personalized indicia thereon.
By inserting the latter key into a lock which is fastened to a patients chart, the administering person will be apprised, by means of a signal, if he is administering to the proper person.
The advantages of the invention will become apparent from the drawings and the following detailed description in which it is my intention to clearly set forth and describe my invention and to show its applicability to hospital use without limiting its scope. In the drawings and description like reference numerals refer to like parts and:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a series of cells;
FIG. 2 is a side view of one of the cells;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a frame for holding the cells;
FIG. 4 is a side view of the frame;
FIG. 5 shows the frame in perspective in closed position having the cells therein;
FIG. 6 shows a side view of a coded plate;
FIG. 7 shows a top view of the coded plate;
FIG. 8 shows a side view view of a lock housing and key;
FIG. 9 shows a front view of the lock housing;
FIG. 10 shows a top view of a portion of the lock housing;
FIG. 11 shows a top view of a series of lock cells;
FIG. 12 shows a side view of a lock cell;
FIG. 13 shows a modification of the invention;
FIG. 14 shows a top view of a coded member; and
FIG. 15 shows a perspective view of a corresponding coded member on a bracelet.
Referring to FIG. I there is shown a series of cells 10 which can be made of any material having a fair degree of resistance to crushing such as plastic, aluminum, steel or wood. The cell is preferably in the shape of a cube; however, any suitable shape is satisfactory to accomplish the purposes of this invention. On the front face 11 of the cube there is indicia in the form of protuberances 12 which are placed on the face of the cube so as to correspond with a certain number. For example, a protuberance appears on the upper left front face of a cube and it corresponds to the number I which can be printed on the rear face 13 of the cube. A contact cell 10a has a protuberance 12a thereon which can be slightly higher than the other cells, and it used to actuate a switch in a circuit as will be described below. Certain other cells 10b are blank and are merely used as spacers between indicia groups.
A hinged-snap frame 14 which can be made of plastic or metal is designed to hold the cells 10. The receiving portion 15 of the cell is closed on three sides and open at its upper portion 16. The open portion 16 is sized to snugly receive the cells 10 and is made of such length that it will snugly receive approximately l0 cells. A cover I7 is fixed to the receiving portion 15 by means of the hinge 18 which can be integral with the members 15 and 17 if desired. The cover 17 has an opening 19 extending therethrough and a flange 20 extending around the inner periphery thereof. The flange extends partially over the faces of the cells 10 when the cover 17 is placed over the cells to hold them securely within the receiving portion 15. A pair of tabs 21 having openings 22 therein are secured to opposed ends of the snap frame 14. When the cover 17 is rotated to a position over the receiver 15 the tabs 21 are contiguous and the assembly can be attached to the patents chart by inserting a pin through the aligned openings 22. The protuberances 12 on the front face 11 of the cells extend above the plane of the cover 17 by extending through the opening 19.
Keys" 40 can be molded by placing the master key cell assembly 14 in a pressure applicator such as a pliers. By placing the master key cell assembly on one of the jaws and a thin plate, such as an aluminum plate, on the otherjaw, and squeezing the two together an impression or indentations will be made in the thin plate. The lock cells are placed in templates 23 which are U- shaped in cross section and have opposed flanges 24 thereon. A series of templates can be used in which each template holds one cell or a single larger template can be used which will accommodate approximately 10 cells or any desired number of cells. The templates have a small opening 25 on one flange and a larger opening 26 on the opposed flange.
The housing 27 which receives the templates has a series of small diameter pegs 28 and a parallel set of larger diameter pegs 29 secured within the housing 27. The templates cannot inadvertently be reversed when being placed in the housing because the small opening 25 on the flange of the template fit over the smaller diameter peg 28 and the larger opening 26 fits over the larger diameter pegs 29. The number and the spacing of pegs is chosen to correspond to the number and spacing of the openings on the templates.
The housing 27 is formed in two parts including an upper portion 30 and a lower portion 31 which are joined together by means of a hinge 32. An opening 33 is provided on the forward portion, opposite the hinge 32, of the housing which extends longitudinally rearwardly through approximately 75% of the diameter of the housing. The protuberances 12 of the lock cells extend approximately one-fourth of their length into the longitudinal opening 33.
An energy source, such as a battery 34 is secured within the housing 31 and is electrically connected to a bulb 35 which is screwed into. the upper portion of the housing 30 and is visible through an opening in the housing. A movable pair of contacts 36 are arranged such that one contact is connected to one side of the return lead and the other contact is connected to the other end of the return lead. The contacts are springbiased apart to maintain the circuit in an open condition. When the contacts are brought together as will be explained hereinafter, the. circuit to the bulb is closed and the bulb will be lit. A switch 37 located in a recess 38 on the housing 31 is connected to either side of the contacts 36. The switch 37 is in the normally open position. When the switch is activated by depressing the button 39, the contacts are bridged and the circuit to the bulb 35 is closed. The purpose for the latter switch 37 is to serve as a test for the bulb-battery circuit. Thus, if an operator actuates the switch 37, the bulb should light if the battery and the bulb are operative. Naturally, if the bulb does not light, the operator knows that something is wrong in the circuit. The housing 31 can be made of a lightweight material, such as plastic or aluminum and it can be an explosion proof casing which can be attached to a patient or secured to his hospital chart. In order for an operator to determine if the proper patient is being treated, the operator takes the identification key 40 having depressions therein and inserts it into the opening 33 in the housing 27. The cells in the lock template have openings 41 therein, corresponding to the code of the master key cells 10, which have been drilled out. The diameter of the openings 41 is slightly larger than the diameter of the depressions 42 in the key 40. Thus, when the key 40 is inserted in the opening 33, if it is the proper key for the particular lock, the depressions 42 will fit within the corresponding openings 41 in the cells and the contact depression 420 will extend through the opening 43 and depress the upper contact 36 into engagement with the lower contact thereby closing the circuit and the bulb will glow indicating that the proper patient is being treated. A spring-biased pressure plate 52 is urged by springs 53 against the plate 40 to insure complete mating. On the other hand, if one of the depressions 42 does not coincide with a corresponding opening 40, the key will not fit within the lock and the contact depression 43 will not extend through the opening 43 and the circuit will not be energized. The operator will then know that either he has the incorrect patient or the circuit is bad. When the operator depresses the switch 39 the bulb will light if the circuit is good and he knows that he has the incorrect patient. If the light does not glow, the circuit must be remedied. When the circuit is operative again, the key can be reinsertd to ascertain if he has the right patient.
In a modification of the latter system, a series of master cells 10 can be held in a housing 44 having a cover 45 with a plurality of openings 46 therein and a cell holding portion 47 whih is hinged to the cover 46. A bracelet 48 has a coded portion thereon in the form of raised protuberances 49 corresponding to the code in the master key cell unit 44. The bracelet can be secured to thearm of a patient with straps 50 or any other known securing device. The unit 44 is secured to the patients chart and when a requisition for the patient is necessary, a requisition form 51 is inserted into the unit 44. A series of holes 52 are made by the master key cells corresponding to the patient. When the requisition has been filled it is brought to the patient and the requisition slip is laid over the coded portion of the bracelet 49. If the requisition holes 52 match the protuberances on the bracelet, the patient is properly matched to the requisition.
While there has been shown and described a single embodiment of the invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention, and that it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A positive identification system, comprising,
a. a housing having an elongated opening extending therein,
b. code receiving means having first indicia thereon in said housing adjacent said opening,
0. a coded key member having second indicia thereon corresponding to said first indicia on said code receiving means,
d. the indicia on one of said code receiving means and said key member being a plurality of openings located in a predetermined array and the indicia on the other of said code receiving means and said key member being a plurality of protuberances corresponding to said openings, and located in a complementary array,
e. signal means in said housing having a portion thereof adjacent said code receiving means,
f. said key member including means independent of said second indicia for activating said signal means only when said openings and protuberances are perfectly mated; and said first indicia comprising saidopenings, said second indicia comprising said protuberances, and said key member comprising a plate having protuberances thereon in locations corresponding to printed matter which identifies a specific object.
2. In a positive identification system as defined in claim 1 in which said housing is formed in two parts which are hinged together at one end to permit the housing portions to rotate about said hinge and thereby open and close the housing.
3. In a positive identification system as defined in claim 1 in which said elongated opening extends from a portion outside said housing to a portion within said housing.
4. In a positive identification system as defined in claim 1 wherein said code receiving means comprises a series of individual and independent cells having said openings therein in which one or more of said openings are located in separate predetermined arrays to correspond to printed matter which identifies a specific object.
5. In a positive identification system as defined in claim 4 an additional cell having said enlarged opening therein.
6. The positive identification system as defined in claim 1 wherein said code receiving means includes an enlarged opening therein having a configuration substantially different from the openings forming said first indicia; said key" member includes an enlarged protuberance having a configuration complementary to said enlarged opening and defining said signal activating means; and said portion of signal means adjacent said code receiving means comprises a normally open switch, whereby when said first and second indicia are perfectly mated, said enlarged protuberance extends through said enlarged opening and engages said switch, to close the latter and thereby activate said signal means.
7. In a positive identification system as defined in claim 6 in which said signal means comprises a lamp electrically connected in a circuit, said switch being located in said circuit and having contacts which are responsive to said enlarged protuberance to close the circuit to said bulb.