|Publication number||USRE43549 E1|
|Application number||US 11/366,011|
|Publication date||Jul 24, 2012|
|Filing date||Mar 2, 2006|
|Priority date||Nov 30, 2000|
|Also published as||CA2363635A1, US6701218, US20020063698|
|Publication number||11366011, 366011, US RE43549 E1, US RE43549E1, US-E1-RE43549, USRE43549 E1, USRE43549E1|
|Inventors||Noaki Koike, Takafumi Ikeda|
|Original Assignee||Kabushiki Kaisha Yuyama Seisakusho|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (26), Non-Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (3), Classifications (16), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a reissue application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,701,218, issued Mar. 2, 2004.
This invention relates to a writing device for erasably rewriting the display contents on a display member provided on a drug carrier.
In a medical facility such as a hospital or a pharmacy, large-scale mechanization is being done to efficiently prepare and collect drugs such as medicines and medical materials for each patient according to the instructions on prescription in a short time. For example, a system is embodied in which a plurality of injection drug dispensers for dispensing a large number of and various kinds of and ampules for injection are installed in a predetermined order, and different kinds of injection ampules are dispensed from the dispensers and put into carriers, and the carriers are transported through a conveyor provided along these dispensers to send them to an inspecting station to supply them to each patient through strict inspection.
As another example of the system for collecting drugs in carriers for transportation, a drug transportation device in which a conveyor device is provided along packaging devices for powder drugs and tablets and the drugs prepared are collected in carriers and sent to an inspecting station is known from Japanese patent publication 7-81737. In this device, an IC card for storing information is built in a carrier, and information stored is displayed in a liquid crystal display provided on the carrier, or the information is read in a non-contact manner to display the information on display devices of various drug preparation units.
In such a system including injection drug dispensing devices or drug preparation/transportion devices, prescription information about the contents of a carrier is printed on a sheet of paper and the sheet is put into it, such information as a patient name or voucher number corresponding to a carrier is printed on a name tab or an adhesive label and it is manually stuck on the side of the carrier so that they can be accurately handed to patients. As examples in which display of the contents of carriers or containers or display showing the correlation is done in technical fields other than medical field in which drugs are collected and carried, the following are known.
In Japanese patent publication 4-35848, there are disclosed a method and a device for controlling, using a production control device, a device for treating articles such as semiconductor products such as wafers by means of a memory media such as IC cards. This control method includes steps of tallying data on articles stored in an IC card detachably mounted on a container of the articles to be treated with data about treatment of the articles stored in the control device beforehand, dismounting the IC card, transferring the articles to be treated to a container for treatment and carrying out predetermined treatment, transferring the articles into the original container, fitting an IC card corresponding to the articles on this container, and writing the data about the treatment carried out into the IC card.
In Japanese patent publication 8-91382, using a card that needs no adhesive or an adhesive label, the card mounted on a container is automatically dismounted to improve workability. With a container being fed on a conveyor line having its position restricted in the width direction by guides, a dismounting lever is inserted into a space at rear of a card mounted on the side of the container to dismount the card.
Japanese patent publication 9-249689 discloses a device in which a pocket for receiving a data carrier as an information storing means is provided in a side plate of the cassette for carrying articles and the data carrier is mounted and dismounted to and from the cassette. In washing the cassette on which the data carrier is to be mounted, in order to avoid any bad influence on the data carrier, the latter is dismounted from the cassette, and after washing the cassette, it is re-mounted and information is written into the data carrier.
In medical facilities, drugs, medical materials, etc. are often received in carriers (generally called trays) separately for respective patients based on prescriptions and instructions by doctors. In order to hand drugs and the like stored therein correctly to patients, it is necessary to display at least such information as patient names or voucher numbers corresponding to the contents of carriers. For such requirements, the one in which an IC card or a display is provided on a carrier is of a type suitable for handling carriers almost fully automatically not manually. Thus, although the contents are displayed on the display, patient names or the like are not displayed. Also, general carriers other than those described above are mere containers and, of course, have no displays for patient names or the like.
Thus, in order that they can be used to display information on patient names or the like for any of the types, in medical facilities, such information is printed on name tags or adhesive labels, and before the carriers are used, they are manually stuck on the sides of the carriers and manually removed after use. But the work of manually sticking and unsticking display labels will be a large burden if the number of patients is large, and human error is inevitable. Also, adhesive labels may come off. After unsticking, glue will remain, so that the surface is stained. Further, since adhesive labels are disposed after use, the running cost is high.
Thus, carriers having the function of displaying, using not expensive members such as displays by IC cards but inexpensive members are desired.
By the way, display members that meet the above requirements, and printers which can write desired display contents on such display members are already commercially available. The display members allow display contents such as letters to be repeatedly written and erased. The printers can write display contents on the display members or erase them by applying a predetermined temperature. Using such a display member and printer, desired display contents are displayed on the display member and the display member is fitted on a carrier for drugs as described above. Since the display member can be used repeatedly, the running cost is lower than with an adhesive label and it is possible to prevent soiling of the carrier. But the display member has to be still manually fitted on a carrier, so that the burden of mounting and dismounting work remains. There is also the possibility of human errors.
An object of the present invention is to provide a writing device for carrier display members in which, using inexpensive display members which allow repeated writing and erasing, they are detachably attached to carriers, and in which information on patient names can be writably and erasably written on the display members, while preventing soiling of the carriers, achieving mechanization of work, and improving work efficiency.
According to this invention, there is provided a writing device for display members for a carrier comprising an attach/detach/transfer means for detaching, attaching and transferring a display member to the carrier detachably carrying the display member on one side thereof, and a writing means connected to the attach/detach/transfer means for erasably writing and displaying patient information on the display member, the attach/detach/transfer means and the writing means being controlled based on drug information in prescriptions, thereby attaching and detaching the display member to and from the carrier and writing patient information on the display member.
This writing device is used to attach a display member to the side of a carrier used to carry drugs automatically or manually in a hospital or a pharmacy and erasably display patient information on it. By displaying patient information, it will help correctly handing drugs to patients or distributing them in a hospital.
The writing means for repeatedly erasing and writing display contents on the display member is generally used by inserting the display member manually through its insert port to rewrite the display contents. But in view of hygienic control and efficiency of drug preparation work in hospitals, it is desirable to attach the display member not manually but mechanically. Thus, the attach/detach/transfer means is provided at a predetermined position.
When the carrier is placed at the predetermined position so that its side contacts the attach/detach/transfer means, the display member carried on the side is dismounted, transferred and fed into the writing device. Patient information based on drug information on prescriptions is written on the display member by the writing means. The display member is then returned and fitted on the side of the carrier. Since the display member allows erasing and writing to be repeated a plurality of times, it is not discarded after one-time use but can be used several hundred times. Thus, the cost is low and fitting can be done efficiently.
Other features and objects of the present invention will become apparent from the following description made with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Hereinbelow, referring to the drawings, the embodiments will be described.
The illustrated conveyor device (D) has at a suitable position in front of the ampule dispensing machine (C) a card attachable/detachable writing device A for erasing and writing patient information on a card (that is, patient information display member) carried on the side of a carrier T and adapted to display patient information (patient name, date, ward name, room number, department, existence or nonexistence of drugs to be stored in a cold place) about the patient for whom the drugs stored in the carrier are intended. The card is generally called a rewrite card and has characteristics that patient information written and displayed is erasable and information on another patient can be rewritten.
In the illustrated example, the rewrite cards 1 are of substantially the same dimensions and thickness as generally used telephone cards and commuter passes. Generally, two kinds of rewrite cards are known, i.e. leuco type cards in which a leuco dye and a developer in a recording layer react and are bound together to develop color, and a clouding type of rewrite cards in which a gap is produced between the low molecules and resin of the recording layer and looks white. Either of the rewrite cards are of a type in which when a specific temperature is applied, it is possible to write or erase letters. In the embodiments, the former leuco type cards are used.
The guide frame 11 has a vertical width slightly larger than the longitudinal width of the rewrite cards and has a thickness of several centimeters. The entire frame is integrally formed such that its abutting portion 11a having a length of about ⅓ of the total length near the rewrite card 1 held by the card-holding member 2 of the carrier and its remaining guide portion 11b having a length of about ⅔ are bent at a moderate angle. Also, the guide frame 11 is provided so as to be rotatable about a vertical shaft 14 provided at the guide portion 11b at a position near the writing member 20 so that the rubber rollers 12 on one side of the abutting portion 11a can abut the rewrite card 1. The vertical shaft 14 is fixed to a base plate 10B provided on a rail frame of the conveyor (D).
As shown in
As shown in
Also as shown in
On the base plate 10B, a position sensor PH (
As shown in
In S2, printing data for rewrite cards are prepared from the prescription data. For example, if the host computer 40 is a computer for controlling an ampule dispensing device, from among the prescription data shown in
In the case of the prescription data of the ampule dispensing device of
In S3, it is confirmed on whether or not a carrier is stopping at a correct position. Stoppage of a carrier is carried out, as described above, by activating the stopper 31 based on the signal from the position sensor PH. When the sensor PH transmits a detection signal and the stopper 31 is activated, it is determined that a carrier T has stopped at a predetermined position and it proceeds to the next step S4.
In S4, a rewrite card 1 is dismounted from a carrier T. The dismounting is carried out as follows. When a control signal is first transmitted to the motor M2 of the card attach/detach/transfer means 10 from the control unit 30, the cam roller 11c rotates to slightly turn the guide frame 11, thereby bringing the abutting portion 11a into abutment with a rewrite card 1 of a carrier T. At the same time, the control signal is also transmitted to the motor M1 to rotate the rubber rollers 12 to prepare for the feeding of the rewrite card 1. When the rubber rollers 12 at the abutting portion 11a contact the rewrite card 1, due to frictional force, the rewrite card 1 is fed from the card-holding member 2, passes through the gap 17 between it and the frame plate 16a of the guide frame 11 and the gap between the rubber rollers 12 and the plastic rollers 13 and is fed to the writing means 20.
In S5, printing on the rewrite card 1 is done by the writing means 20. When the rewrite card 1 is fed into the writing means 20, the rewrite card 1 is treated by the thermal head to print (erase+print) the data. When printing is over, in S6, the rewrite card 1 is fed back to the card attach/detach/transfer means 10, fed in the guide frame 11 and fitted in the card-holding member 2 of the carrier. In S7, the stopper 31 is lowered to release the carrier, which is transferred by the conveyor device (D). After release of the carrier, it returns before step S1, and the above process is carried out for the next carrier. This process is repeated one after another.
The writing device for the carrier display member of the second embodiment has a writing means 20′ (for reissue) shown by dotted line in
It is the same as in the first embodiment in that in S1, prescription data are received, and in S2, printing data are prepared. But when the print data are prepared, in S2′, as in
By repeating these processes, ordinary writing into rewrite cards is done. But printing on written rewrite cards is sometimes unclear. This is because printing can become unclear if erasing and writing are repeated over the limit of several hundred times. If rewrite cards with unclear printing appear, an operator checks them visually and performs the reissue process. Since prescription data are not necessarily sent continuously while the processes of S1-S7 are being carried out, but there may be no transmission of prescription data for some time periods, such reissue processing is carried out during such periods.
When the processing operation returns before S1, if the “reissue” button shown in
After displaying the printing data he wants to reissue by pressing the “last data” or “next data” button, an operator presses a “determine” button to make selection of data. It proceeds to S13 and unless a “stop” button is pressed here, it proceeds to S14. When a spare rewrite card is put in the writing means 20′ for reissuing, print data to be reissued are overwrite-printed (erase+print) on the rewrite card for reissuing. Rewrite card reissued on the writing means 20′ are manually replaced with the rewrite card mounted on carriers.
If the “stop” button is pressed in S13, reissue process is stopped, the former printing screen shown in
For the diagnosis process, a diagnosis program for checking if the device-forming parts such as the control unit 30, card attach/detach/write portion 32, operating means 33 operate normally is provided in the control unit 30 (details are not shown). In this process, it is self-diagnosed whether the operation of each component is normal, at a suitable timing (generally at the end of everyday's drug processing) using this program. The diagnosis process in S22 is repeated after returning to S21. To return to the normal operation, by pressing the “start button”, it returns to before S20 and the process of
In the above two embodiments, the writing device A is attached to the conveyor device D. Carriers T may be transferred not by the conveyor device D but may be fed on a cart or manually. Thus, a table of a suitable height may be provided at a predetermined position (any place in a hospital or pharmacy will do) so that a carrier can be stably placed thereon, and the writing device A may be attached to the table, not to the conveyor device. By this arrangement, simply by placing a carrier T on the table, attaching and detaching of a rewrite card 1 and writing of printed letters are automatically processed by the writing device A.
In the embodiments, the rewrite card 1 on the side of each carrier T is of a type in which it is attached and detached to and from the carrier by being moved in a horizontal direction by the card attach/detach/transfer means 10. But attaching and detaching of cards may not be in a horizontal direction. For example, a card may be sucked and raised by a suction means having a suction arm, and fed into the writing means by moving or turning the suction arm.
As described above, with the writing device for carrier display members of this invention, the attach/detach/transfer means for detachably fitting a display member to a carrier is provided at a predetermined position, and the writing means for erasably writing patient information on each display member is connected, thereby patient information is repeatedly erased and written on a display member and the display member is attached to and detached from a carrier. Thus, attaching and detaching of display members to and from carriers are mechanized without the necessity to manually fit them. Also, soiling due to adhesive is prevented. Thus, it is hygienic, work efficiency improves, human errors can be prevented, and inexpensive display members can be used without needing expensive members such as IC cards or displays.
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|1||Japanese Office Action (in English language) issued Jan. 13, 2005.|
|2||Japanese Office Action (in English language) issued May 16, 2005.|
|3||*||Translation of JP 19860825, Kokai 61190429, "Method of Displaying Content of Carrier Goods" by Sadao Shirakura.|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8650838 *||Sep 14, 2009||Feb 18, 2014||Panasonic Corporation||Drug delivery device and drug delivery method|
|US20110162323 *||Sep 14, 2009||Jul 7, 2011||Shoji Shibata||Drug delivery device and drug delivery mothod|
|US20110252092 *||Oct 13, 2011||Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha||Electronic conferencing system, electronic conference operations method, computer program product, and conference operations terminal|
|U.S. Classification||700/235, 700/237, 53/415, 700/225, 700/227, 700/226, 700/220, 700/221, 53/135.1|
|International Classification||G06F17/00, A61J3/00, B65C9/46, B65G47/49|
|Cooperative Classification||G07F17/0092, B65C9/46|
|Oct 9, 2015||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Mar 2, 2016||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|