Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
DEVICE FOR THE UNAMBIGUOUS PAIRING OF DOCUMENTS FROM DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING TO A GIVEN PATIENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1993/008735
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A process for the unambiguous pairing of documents to a given patient provides for: a) the request for a particular diagnostic investigation, to said patient, and b) the assignment and permanent association of an identification code to the patient through a support device (3), affixed to the patient himself. The process also provides for the transfer of the patient to a machine (6) for performing the prescribed examination, where a reader (4) checks the identification code on the support device (3). The patient identification code together with identification data corresponding to the prescribed examination are stored by appropriate devices (5, 31, 33, 34) on a temporary support (27). Lastly, the machine (6) executes the prescribed examination, generating a document (7) to which the code and data written on the temporary support (27) has been transferred, as well as the document (7) containing the result of the examination.

Inventors:
Pedrazzini, Gianandrea
Application Number:
PCT/EP1992/002424
Publication Date:
May 13, 1993
Filing Date:
October 21, 1992
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
Healtech S.
Pedrazzini, Gianandrea
International Classes:
A61B5/117; G03B42/04; (IPC1-7): A61B5/117; G03B42/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO1992014403A1
Foreign References:
US4857713A
FR2425834A1
US4983991A
Download PDF:
Claims:
C L A I M S
1. Process for the univocal pairing of documents corresponding to a given instrumental investigation to a given patient, characterized in that it provides for the identification of the patient, the prescription to said patient of an instrumental diagnostic investigation, the assignment of an identification code of the patient containing at least personal identification data of said patient, the permanent association of said identification code to said patient through a support device (3) that may be affixed to the patient himself, the transfer of the patient to a machine (6) for the execution of the prescribed instrumental investigation, the reading of said identification code and its possible completion with data for the identification of said instrumental investigation, the writing of said identification code on a temporary support (27) contained in said instrumental investigation machine, the check of the congruity of the written code with the one that has been read and possibly completed and, lastly, the execution of the instrumental investigation through said machine with the production of a document (7) containing the result of the investigation and the simultaneous transfer of said code from said temporary support (27) to said document (7).
2. Process according to claim 1, characterised in that said identification code assigned to the patient and applied to said support device (3) already contains at start identification data of the prescribed instrumental investigation.
3. Process according to claim 1, characterised in that said support device (3) is constituted by a bracelet.
4. Machine for the accomplishment of the process according to the preceding claims, characterized in that it comprises means (50) for marking a support device (3) that may be affixed to the patient with an identification code of the patient containing at Least personal identification data of said patient, means (4) for reading said identification code of the patient on said support device (3), means (5) for the possible completion of said identification code of the patient with data for the identification of the prescribed instrumental investigation and writing the code read on a temporary support (27) contained in the machine (6) that executes the instrumental investigation and means (21, 33, 34) for the transfer of said code written on said temporary support (27) to a final document (7) containing the result of the instrumental investigation simultaneously with the execution of the investigation itself.
5. Machine according to claim 4, characterized in that said machine (6) is a radiographic machine and said means (21, 33, 34) for the transfer of said written code are constituted by the source of radiation (21) of the same radiographic machine.
6. Machine according to claim 5, characterized in that said temporary support (27) is constituted by a perforated tape interposed between said source of radiation (21) and the radiographic plate (7) to be exposed.
7. Machine according to claim 4, characterized in that said means (21, 33, 34) for the transfer of said written code are constituted by a source of light (33) suitable for illuminating the document (7) during the preparatory step and said temporary support (27) is constituted by a perforated tape interposed between said source of light (33) and said document (7).
8. Machine according to claim 4, characterized in that said means C21, 33, 34) for the transfer of said written code and said temporary support are constituted by an electrooptical device (34) suitable for making a direct impression on the document (7) during the preparatory step.
Description:
Device for the unambiguous pairing of documents from diagnostic Imaging to given patient.

D E S C R I P T I O N The present invention relates to a process and to a machine for the univocal pairing of radiographic, ecographic, 0 tomographic, angiographic, of nuclear magnetic resonance documents and, in general, of all those documents that originate from diagnostic procedures that produce medical reports by photographic exposure, with a given patient. The need is known of guaranteeing the certainty of the 5 attribution of a document of instrumental investigation to the patient who has generated it.

The increasingly urgent and important need is also known of managing the rising number of diagnostic documents automatically and according to criteria of positive 0 identification.

Analysed as a whole, the abovementioned needs impose the necessity of automating, in a closed loop, the steps of patient identification, execution of the instrumental test, attribution of the document produced by the instrumental test executed on 5 the patient to the patient himself.

FOP the purposes of intrinsic certainty the step that is currently most dangerous is that of the attribution of the document to the patient: in fact the lack of a positive identification of the patient and the non-simuLtaneousness of the operations for the execution of the test with respect to that of the identification of the document leave room for errors due to the exchange of information.

For the purposes of management the non-automated nature of the operations of document identification involve Large losses of time.

In addition, the advance of technologies related to optical memories offers the opportunity of having available powerful and highly-efficient electronic archives (the problem as a whole is known with the names "PACS-Picture Archiving and Communications System" and "DIH-Digital Imaging Management") to which, however, it is necessary to supply the material to be filed in an automatic manner if the technological means are to be exploited to the full.

The object of the present invention is to accomplish a process and a machine that allow the prevention of any possible error in the attribution of a document and the completely automatic management of the same process.

According to the invention such objects are attained through a process for the univocal pairing of documents corresponding to a given instrumental investigation to a given patient.

characterized in that it provides for the identification of the patient, the prescription to said patient of an instrumental diagnostic investigation, the assignment of an identification code of the patient containing at least personal identification data of said patient, the permanent association of said identification code to said patient through a support device that may be affixed to the patient himself, the transfer of the patient to a machine for the execution of the prescribed instrumental investigation, the reading of said identification code and its possible completion with data for the identification of said instrumental investigation, the writing of said identification code on a temporary support contained in said instrumental investigation machine, the check of the congruity of the written code with the one that has been read and possibly completed and, lastly, the execution of the instrumental investigation through said machine with the production of a document containing the result of the investigation and the simultaneous transfer of said code from said-temporary support to said document. For the accomplishment of the abovementioned process there is provided a machine that comprises essentially means for marking a support device that may be affixed to the patient, say, a bracelet, with an identification code of the patient containing at least personal identification data of said patient, means for reading said identification code of the

patient on said support device, means for the possible completion of the identification code of the patient with data for the identification of the prescribed instrumental investigation and writing the code read on a temporary support contained in the machine that executes the instrumental investigation and means for the transfer of said code written on said temporary support to a final document containing the result of the instrumental investigation simultaneously with the execution of the investigation itself. The case may arise that the machine executing the instrumental investigation is of a type capable of producing an information that is already digitalised and thus processed in a computerised form. In such case the identification code should be associated with the corresponding file sector of the machine simultaneously with its production.

The features of the present invention shall be made more clear by the following detailed description of an embodiment illustrated as a non-Limiting example in the enclosed drawings, wherein: F - 1 shows the overall operational diagram of a machine for the accomplishment of the process according to the invention;

Fig. 2 illustrates the principle diagram of a radiographic machine provided with a code application device according to the present invention;

Fig. 3 shows said radiographic machine in a schematic cross-sectional view taken along the line III-III of Fig. 2;

Fig. 4 shows diagrammatically a variant of the code application device associated with the radiographic machine of Fig.s 2 and 3;

Fig. 5 shows a further variant of said code application device.

With reference to Fig. 1 there is shown the overall view of a machine divided into operational areas A and B. In the area A (to the left of the dashed line) the operations take place of patient admittance/identification of the patient as regards both the hospitalization procedure and that related to out-patient treatments. For example, it provides for a scanner 1 of patient identification cards and an operating computer 2.

The identified and admitted patient is provided with an identification device (say, a bracelet) on which, by means of a marking machine 50, there is marked an identification code (hereinafter called ID) that may be read optically, that comprises several personal identification data of the patient and possible data for the identification of the instrumental investigation that has been prescribed for him; the latter shall certainly be present if he is an out-patient, while they may be absent, to be added subsequently as shall be explained Later, if he is a patient that has already been admitted to a

ward.

In the area B, on the other hand, the operations take place of instrumental investigation and association of the identification code of the patient with the document giving the result of the investigation itself.

Here the operators, without having to worry about identifying the patient, proceed with reading the ID code on the bracelet 3 (or any other suitable support device) using for that purpose an appropriate optical reader 4, that transfers the code itself to a device 5 associated with the machine for the execution of the prescribed instrumental investigation, say a radiographic machine, indicated as a whole with 6 in Fig. 1. The device 5, if necessary, completes the ID code with the data reLated to the investigation to be executed, (if, as has already been said, the patient has already been admitted) and then writes it on a suitable temporary support (not shown in Fig. 1) associated with the machine 6. From this, after an appropriate check of the congruity of the written code with the one that has been read on the bracelet 3, said code is then transferred directly on an area 8 of the document produced by the machine 6, say a radiographic plate 7, simultaneously with the execution of the investigation under way.

Admittance operations may also take place in the area B through a personal computer 9 dedicated to the supervision of the system and to communications with the outside world. Such

an operation could, for example, be executed under emergency conditions or for off-line operations; in such case the personal computer itself shall construct the ID code to be transferred to the machine 6. The radiographic plate 7, after the usual process of development, shall take back to the area 8 the ID code that, being an optically readable code, allows an automatic manipulation of the plates with requiring the operators to further intervene to address the documents for filing. From the plate the filing process proceeds to a scanner 10 - possibly provided with an automatic feeder unit - which digitalises the information and transfers it to the personal computer 9 which, in turn, processes the information toward a high-definition monitor 11 and/or to a laser printer 12 and/or to a mass memory 13 and/or to an operating optical memory 14. As regards the marking and reading of the identification code and for the structure of the codes themselves, please see the detailed description contained in the Italian patent applications No. 20907 A/90 dated 11 July 1990 and No. 22471 A/90 dated 21 December 1990, both in the name of the same applicant.

For the application of the code of the diagnostic event under way (patient identification code plus date, time and data related to the test under way) to the final produced document, such as the radiographic plate 7, after reading the support

affixed to the patient, different procedures and devices may be used; what is essential is that the application of the identification code on the document be simultaneous with the accomplishment of the document itself. Fig. 2 illustrates the principle diagram of a possible radiographic machine 6, where there is indicated with 21 the source of the X-rays, with 22 the patient provided with a bracelet 3 for his identification, lying on a table 23. Under the table 23 there is a grille 24 to avoid interferences of the diffracted radiation and under it there is a carriage 25 free to move along the indicated axis X and perpendicularly to it. Inside the carriage 25 there is an extractable drawer 26 containing the plate 7 to be exposed. Between the grille 24 and the carriage 25 there is a piece of perforated tape 27 that constitutes the temporary support of the identification code of the patient mentioned earlier.

As shown in Fig. 3, the perforated tape 27 is unwound from a reel 28, perforated by a punching machine 29, for example altogether identfcal with those normally used in telex machines for the production of the perforated tape, read immediately downstream by a reader 30 (also altogether identical with those used for telex machines) to check the congruity of the perforated information with that at start (read on the bracelet 3) and then cut and inserted above the drawer 26, in the area normally used for the so-called photo-stamp. The insertion of

the tape 27 is by means of kinematic mechanism 31 that, once the plate has been exposed, unload in a container 32 the piece of tape that has just been used, so that a subsequent piece of tape can be introduced for the identification of the next plate.

It is intuitive that the tape 27 is produced with substances that are opaque to X-rays and that in the perforated area it aLlows the passage of the rays: the code perforated on the tape is thus transferred to the radiographic plate 7. As regards the structure of the ID code reference has already been made to the previous patent applications by the same applicant. For the sake of completeness mention is made that the code contains: the patient's personal identification data; - date and time of the instrumental investigation to be executed; type of investigation; other information reputed to be useful, such as: ward, doctor in charge, object of the test, etc.. The code deposited on the plate as described above is a code with intrinsic certainty since it derives automatically from the patient immediately before the execution of the instrumental investigation and can be read optically and as such can allow the automatic processing of the plates, that can be inserted into scanners for their digitalisation without it

being further necessary for an operator to pair with each plate the identification information (with possible human errors of registration).

Alternatively to the utilisation of the source of X-rays as the source of Light for the application of the code, there is nothing to prevent the use of an ad hoc source of light to be positioned under the drawer 26 together with the device for perforating, reading, cutting, insertion of the tape with the purpose of obtaining the application of the identification code: in this case the drawer for containing the plate shall be provided in the lower part with a hatch that shall be opened (as already takes place today for the application of the photo-stamp) to allow the passage of the luminous information. The application of the code shall take place within the plate-exposure process. This alternative solution is illustrated in Fig. 4, where there is indicated with 33 the device for illuminating and opening the drawer.

Fig. 5 shows a further alternative to the solution indicated in Fig. 4, where for the transfer of the identification code an electro-optical device 34 is used, capable of making a direct impression on the plate without the interposition of an intermediate tape.

For the assignment of the Identification code to a document already in the digitaLised form (as takes place for the most recent tomography and NMR machines) it is lastly not necessary

to have an additional special device, except for the reader of the positive identification of the patient subjected to instrumental investigation. A special software instruction shall cause the automatic transfer in a special memory sector of the code of identification of the patient and of the investigation executed.