US20090025321A1 - Apparatus for temporarily dividing a hospital room into medically private patient areas - Google Patents

Apparatus for temporarily dividing a hospital room into medically private patient areas Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090025321A1
US20090025321A1 US12/220,252 US22025208A US2009025321A1 US 20090025321 A1 US20090025321 A1 US 20090025321A1 US 22025208 A US22025208 A US 22025208A US 2009025321 A1 US2009025321 A1 US 2009025321A1
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Prior art keywords
panel
divider
floor
ceiling
room
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Abandoned
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US12/220,252
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Jack B. Cherney
Lenny J. Hutton
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Cherney Jack B
Hutton Lenny J
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Priority to US96161307P priority Critical
Application filed by Cherney Jack B, Hutton Lenny J filed Critical Cherney Jack B
Priority to US12/220,252 priority patent/US20090025321A1/en
Publication of US20090025321A1 publication Critical patent/US20090025321A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B2/00Walls, e.g. partitions, for buildings; Wall construction with regard to insulation; Connections specially adapted to walls
    • E04B2/74Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge modular coordination
    • E04B2/82Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge modular coordination characterised by the manner in which edges are connected to the building; Means therefor; Special details of easily-removable partitions as far as related to the connection with other parts of the building
    • E04B2/827Partitions constituted of sliding panels

Abstract

An arrangement for temporarily dividing a room or space, and in particular a hospital room, into two medically private spaces includes a structured divider panel that extends between the floor and the ceiling and extends/retracts between opposite walls of the hospital room. The divider panel is multilayered and includes an inner layer that is sandwiched between and intersecured to a pair of outer layers, the inner layer being of sound-deadening material and the securement being such as to inhibit sound from passing between the separated spaces. In an aspect, a pair of wipers impregnated with an antibacterial or antimicrobial substance is positioned to automatically wipe and sanitize the exterior surfaces of the outer layers during extension and retraction of the panel.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of U. S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/961,613, filed Jul. 23, 2007, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention pertains to structured panels for dividing a room or space. More particularly, the present invention relates to a room divider panel that extends between the floor and the ceiling and extends/retracts between opposite walls of a hospital room or medical private area to temporarily divide the room/area into separated and private spaces. Even more particularly, this invention relates to a space divider panel structured to include an inner layer of sound-deadening material to inhibit sound from passing between the separated spaces. Even more particularly this invention relates to a space divider assembly that includes an extender/retractor arrangement and wipers impregnated with an antibacterial and/or antimicrobial substance that engage and sanitize opposite faces of the divider panel upon extension/retraction thereof.
  • 2. Prior Art
  • The use of a panel or divider to separate and divide a room or area into two or more areas is known to those skilled in the art to which the present invention pertains. Typically the divider forms a continuous wall or barrier. The divider may be much like a shower curtain wherein a sheet of polymeric material is suspended from a rod and the curtain moves from a stored position, wherein the curtain is bunched up and the shower area is open, and an extended position wherein the shower area is closed. In other arrangements, the divider may be in the form of a series of articulated panels, which are suspended from an elongated track, and move from a stored position, wherein the panels are folded and/or collapsed upon one another and the area is open, and an extended position, wherein the panels unfold and form a continuous wall closure.
  • Arrangements using partitions, curtains, dividers and the like are used in patient areas of hospitals. Generally, these dividers are temporary, and much in the nature of the shower curtain arrangement hereinabove described. That is, rings and the like atop a top edge of a sheet of cloth-like material hang the curtain for horizontal sliding movement relative to a support rod.
  • However, while suitable for providing some minimal degree of privacy, large vertical gaps are formed between the top and bottom edges of the curtain and the floor and the ceiling. These gaps permit light to pass between the divided patient spaces. Additionally, noises from one side arising from the voices of medical staff, a patient and visitors of the patient as well as noises arising from medical procedures pass relatively unimpeded to the other side of the divided room. Conversations between the medical staff and the patient are not private. Loud and boisterous visitors can irritate or impede the recovery of some patients.
  • Additionally, while room dividers are capable of being cleaned, the divider is typically cleaned only when there is a need, such as when something that is spilled thereon is visible to the eye. In a hospital, and in particular in patient areas, the regular cleaning of a room divider is important to inhibit the growth of mold or the exposure of a patient to bacteria and germs arising from ongoing checking in and out of patients or exposure to visitors.
  • An object of this invention is the provision of a room dividing arrangement, particularly for use in a patient area subject to germs and the spread of bacteria, which arrangement includes a structured room divider panel and support system therefore that is easy to use in a manner that the divider panel easily extends/retracts relative to the support system and forms a closure between spaced walls and the floor and the ceiling when extended from one wall, the support system enabling the divider panel to be self cleaning upon use to aid in protecting a patient in one part of the room from exposure to germs, bacteria and the like from another patient or visitors entering the other part of the room and the panel having acoustic sound deadening properties to provide privacy and a quieter recovery environment to patients in different parts of the room.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is directed to an improved room divider arrangement for dividing a room having a floor and ceiling and spaced walls into at least two separate areas, the divider arrangement employing
      • a housing connected to one said wall, said housing extending between the floor and the ceiling and including an interior chamber and an inlet communicating with the chamber,
      • a winding mechanism in said chamber, said mechanism including a roller disposed for rotation in first and second directions relative to a vertical axis between the floor and the ceiling, means for locking and unlocking the roller for rotation, and means for pulling the roller in said second direction,
      • an extensible/retractable panel of flexible material, said panel having laterally spaced first and second ends and vertically spaced upper end lower edges and sized to extend between the walls and between the floor and ceiling and form a closure therewith, the panel being wound relative to said roller with the first end thereof fixed to said roller, wherein when the roller rotates relative to said chamber and in said first and second directions, respectively, the second end thereof unwinds from the roller and extends outwardly in said second direction to an unwound position and retracts inwardly towards and into a wound position about the roller, and
      • means for mounting and constraining the upper and lower edges of the panel for movement between the wound and unwound positions.
  • Preferably, the divider arrangement provides cleaning structure for automatically cleaning the opposite sides of the panel upon extension and retraction, the cleaning structure including a pair of elongated antibacterial applicators of resilient material disposed in the inlet to the interior chamber and in close juxtaposed relation with one another, the applicators being provided with an antibacterial and/or antimicrobial substance and adapted to wipingly engage the opposite sides of the panel to sanitize the panel sides as the panel is either extended or retracted.
  • Preferably, the divider panel is structured to include an inner layer of sound deadening or muffling material sandwiched between two outer layers, the layers being thin, flat, coextensive with one another, and sufficiently flexible to wind or coil about the roller. The outer layers are squeezed and wiped clean by the antibacterial applicators during extending/retracting movement of the panel relative to the chamber.
  • Preferably, the outer layers are comprised of a suitable vinyl, in part because vinyl doesn't give off offensive odors, which are especially noticeable as the temperature increases, are light in weight yet offers equal or superior damping ability, and bends and stretches without cracking or recoiling, and applies without a heat-gun. Formulations may include a flame retardant.
  • The inner layer of sound deadening material may be comprised of other materials, such as bitumen or asphalt, a fibrous material or loosely woven fiberglass, natural or synthetic rubber, PVC, chlorinated polyethylene or ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer, and fillers.
  • A sound deadening material according to the present invention is preferably adapted to provide an acoustic barrier to sound transmission between 125 and 4,000 Hz.
  • The outer layers each comprise a strong sheet of vinyl, resistant to attack and degradation by antibacterial and/or antimicrobial cleaning solution. The inner layer is sandwiched between and intersecured to the outer layers, such as by gluing, and in a manner wherein the layers are generally in parallel relation with one another when intersecured. The intersecured panel layers provide an airtight seal about their conjoined outer peripheries, aiding in the deadening or muffling of sound transmission.
  • The means for mounting and constraining a first means for joining the upper edge of the panel for movement between the wound and unwound positions, and comprises an elongated guide track, the track extending across the ceiling and from the housing connected to the one wall and to the other wall. The upper edge of the divider panel is supported by, suspended from, and constrained for movement in the upper guide track.
  • The means for mounting and constraining also includes a second means for joining the lower edge of the panel for movement between the wound and unwound positions, and comprises an upwardly open lower guide track that is affixed atop the floor and a guide pin. The guide pin includes an enlarged rubber grommet that extends downwardly from the lower panel edge and into opening of the guide track, wherein to constrain the panel movement and ensures that the panel is vertically disposed between the floor and the ceiling.
  • In an aspect, a longitudinally extending sealing skirt operates between respective of the upper panel edge and the guide track to form a “dynamic” acoustic barrier or seal-like closure to seal between any possible vertical air gap that may exist along the top longitudinal edge of the panel.
  • Similarly, the lower panel edge is disposed within the opening of the lower guide track and the interfitment therebetween forms, at least in part, an acoustic barrier therebetween.
  • The means for locking and preventing/permitting rotation of the roller may comprise a spring biased ratchet mechanism.
  • Depending on the application, an electrical motor may be operably connected to the roller to rotate the roller, and thereby retract and wind the divider panel into coiled extensible relation about the roller.
  • The room divider arrangement includes a vertically disposed pull housing at the extensible end of the divider panel or partition, a lock mechanism in the pull housing, and a first and second lock housing.
  • The lock mechanism includes an upper and lower lock pin, an actuatable lock handle operable to move the locks pins from a first (extended) position to a second (retracted) position, and means for biasing the lock pins into the first position. In a preferred embodiment, the upper lock pin is captivated in a recess of the upper lock housing, the lower lock pin is in the recess proximate to the floor, and the pins move when the handle is actuated.
  • The first lock housing is fixedly disposed in the upper guide track and the second lock housing is proximate to the lower edge and comprises a rubber stop adapted to engage the floor and provide flexibility in maintaining the position of the panel when less than complete extension/retraction of the panel is desired.
  • The handle/spring normally biases the stopper into engagement with the floor to resist unwanted extending/retracting movement of the panel when the handle is in the first position.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Reference will now be made to the attached drawings, when read in combination with the following detailed description, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, and in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a plan view looking down at a patient area in a hospital having a room divider arrangement according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a side elevation view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 of the patient area and room divider arrangement,
  • FIG. 3 is an enlarged view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2 showing detail of a mounting arrangement for suspending a room divider panel from a guide track affixed to the ceiling and for rolling movement relative to the guide track;
  • FIG. 4 is an enlarged view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2 showing detail of a guide arrangement, wherein a guide channel affixed to the floor receives a guide pin from the lower end of the divider panel to constrain the movement of the lower end of the panel and maintain the panel in a vertical plane when extended;
  • FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-section view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2 showing the front of an encasement having an inlet through which the panel is wound/unwound, a pair of antibacterial applicators in the inlet, and the structure of the divider panel, the opposite sides of the panel being engaged by the applicators during extension and retraction of the panel from the encasement, and
  • FIG. 6 is an elevation view showing details of a pull housing, an actuatable handle and lock pins, and lock housings in the upper and lower guide tracks for receiving the lock pins and locking the divider panel in an extended position.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, and referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is provided a room divider arrangement, generally indicated by the reference number 10, for dividing a room 12 into two separate areas 12A and 12B. The room 12 includes a floor 14 and ceiling 16, a first pair of vertical walls 18 and 20, and a second pair of vertical walls 22 and 24.
  • The room 12 is representative of that found in a patient area of a hospital and includes two patient beds 26 and associated facilities (not shown) to provide medical services to patients in the beds.
  • According to this invention, the room divider arrangement 10 includes a pair of elongated guide tracks 28 and 30, a storage housing or enclosure 32, and a closure or room divider panel 34. The guide tracks 28 and 32 extend between the walls 18 and 20 and operate, in part, to mount and constrain the panel 34 for horizontal extending movement away from and retracting movement towards and into the storage housing 32. While shown as being straight, the tracks may form a curve. Importantly, the tracks are positioned in a manner to maintain the panel 32 in a vertical plane “V” (i.e., in perpendicular relation with the floor 14 and ceiling 16).
  • As shown in FIG. 4, the lower guide track 28 is formed by a pair of strips or bands 15 of elastomeric material, each affixed to the floor 14 in side-by-side relation to define an upwardly open groove 17 that is adapted to connectingly receive the lower edge 34 a of the divider panel 34. Advantageously, these strips may be easily affixed and removed from the floor, when desired.
  • While shown as being generally flat and of rectangular cross-section, the upper surfaces of the strips 15 may be angled upwardly to limit the likelihood of tripping.
  • Further, the guide track may be an upwardly open channel having a squared-C cross-section, mounted atop the floor or disposed in flush-mounted relation with the floor surface.
  • As shown in FIG. 3, the upper guide track 30 is affixed to the ceiling 16, of squared-C cross-section, and downwardly open. The guide track 30 is adapted to receive roller wheels connectingly mounted to the upper edge 34 b of the divider panel 34.
  • The housing or enclosure 32 is connected to the wall 18 and extends vertically between the floor 14 and the ceiling 16 and terminates proximate to respective ends of the lower and upper guide tracks 28 and 30. The housing 32 forms an encasement and includes an interior chamber 31 for mounting the panel, at least in part, and a vertically disposed inlet or passage 36 that communicates with the chamber 31.
  • As shown in FIG. 5, a pair of elongated antibacterial applicators 38 are juxtaposed with the inlet 36. Preferably, the applicators 38 are mounted in the inlet 36 and disposed in closing relation to the chamber into and from which the panel 34 is extended/retracted.
  • The applicators 38 are of a resiliently compressible, such as comprised of a sponge-like material, and impregnated with an antibacterial and/or antimicrobial substance to kill germs and fungi such as mildew. The applicators 38 have respective end faces 38 a positioned for wiping and sanitizing engagement with and against the opposite sides of the panel 34 as the panel is either extended or retracted through the inlet 36.
  • A winding mechanism for supporting the room divider panel 34, at least in part, is disposed in the chamber. While not shown as understood by one skilled in the art, the winding mechanism is much like that found in a conventional window shade and includes a winding roller disposed for winding/unwinding rotation in first and second directions relative to a vertical axis between the floor and the ceiling, ratchet structure for locking and unlocking the winding roller for winding/unwinding rotation, and a spring for driving (i.e., biasing) the winding roller for rotation in the second direction wherein to retract (i.e., rewind the panel about the winding roller).
  • Depending on the application, an electrical drive motor may be employed to drive (i.e., rotate) the winding roller in the retracting/rewinding second direction and into coiled extensible relation about the winding roller.
  • The room divider panel 34 is generally rectangular and sized to extend between the walls 18 and 20 and between the floor 28 and ceiling 30 whereby to form a closure therewith, when extended. The panel 34 comprises a single continuous thin one-piece extensible/retractable structured sheet of flexible material having horizontally spaced first and second end portions 34 c and 34 d, proximate the walls 18 and 20, when the panel is extended, and vertically spaced lower and upper edges 34 a and 34 b, proximate to the guide tracks 28 and 30, when the panel is extended.
  • The first end portion 34 c of the divider panel 34 is fixedly connected to the roller and the divider panel is wound (i.e., coiled) about or unwound from the winding roller, depending on the direction of rotation of the roller. When the roller rotates relative to the chamber and in the first and second directions, the second end portion 34 d of the panel 34 unwinds (i.e., is uncoiled) from the roller and extends horizontally away from the roller, or retracts horizontally towards and is wound (i.e., coiled) about the roller.
  • The divider panel 34 is structured to include an inner layer 40 of sound deadening or muffling material sandwiched between two outer layers 42, the layers 40 and 42 being thin, flat, coextensive with one another, and sufficiently flexible to wind or coil about the roller.
  • Preferably, the layers 40 and 42 are comprised of a suitable vinyl, in part because vinyl doesn't give off offensive odors, which are especially noticeable as the temperature increases, are light in weight yet offers damping ability, and bends and stretches without cracking or recoiling, and applies without a heat-gun. Formulations may include a flame retardant.
  • Preferably, each outer layer or sheet 42 is comprised of a strong sheet of vinyl, such as a vinyl lining material or a vinyl coated fabric, which is resistant to attack and degradation by antibacterial and/or antimicrobial cleaning solution arising from application of antibacterial cleaning materials commonly found in hospitals to eliminate mold, kill germs, and otherwise prevent the spread of germs as well as be resistant to attack from moisture. The outer layers 42 must be of a suitable thickness to be strong yet withstand the constant squeezing engagement and exposure to the wiping edges 38 a of the antibacterial applicators 38 during extending/retracting movement of the panel 34 relative to the inlet 36 leading into the housing chamber.
  • The outer layers 42 may also be comprised of a strong durable sheet of a flexible polyethylene, polystyrene, or acrylic or other suitable synthetic flexible sheet material.
  • Preferably, the inner layer 40 is comprised of a sound deadening vinyl.
  • In addition, depending on the application, the sound deadening material of the inner layer 40 may be comprised of bitumen or asphalt, a fibrous material or loosely woven fiberglass, natural or synthetic rubber, PVC, chlorinated polyethylene or ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer, and fillers.
  • Preferably, a sound deadening material according to the present invention is adapted to provide an acoustic barrier to sound transmission between 125 and 4,000 Hz.
  • The inner layer 40 is intersecured or laminated to the outer layers 42, such as by a process that employs adhesive gluing and/or fusion bonding and is resistant to delamination, and the layers are generally parallel relation with one another when intersecured. The intersecured panel layers 40 and 42 provide an airtight seal therebetween and about their conjoined outer peripheries, aiding in the deadening or muffling of sound transmission as well as vibration damping.
  • A plurality of laterally spaced roller assemblies 44 connect and mount the upper edge 34 b of the room panel 34 to the guide track 30 and suspend the panel from the ceiling 16. As shown in FIG. 3, the roller assembly 44 includes a pair of rollers 46 which are journalled for rotation on a common shaft 48, and a bracket 50 extends through a central opening 31 of the guide track 30 for mounting the shaft 48 and the rollers 46 to the edge portion 34 b of the divider panel 34 and for rolling movement within the confines of the track 30.
  • In some applications, a longitudinally extending sealing skirt 52, preferably of sound deadening or muffling material, operates between each respective side of the panel edge 34 a and 34 b and the guide track 30 to form an acoustic seal between any vertical gap that may exist between the upper edge 34 a of the panel 34 and the track 30.
  • As shown in FIG. 4 and as discussed hereinabove, the lower guide track 28 is formed by a pair of side-by-side strips or bands 15 of elastomeric material and an upwardly open groove 17. The lower edge 34 a of the divider panel 34 is interfitted within the groove 17 in a manner that little or no gap is formed, thereby completing, at least in part, an acoustic seal.
  • Preferably, at least one guide pin or grommet 35 extends from the lower edge 34 a and into the groove 17 to constrain the panel 34 to move along a path complementary to the upper guide track and maintain the suspended panel in a vertical plane “V”.
  • Referring to FIGS. 2 and 6, the room divider arrangement 10 further includes a vertically disposed pull housing 54 at the extensible end 34 d of the divider panel or partition 34, and a lock arrangement for securing the panel 34 in room separating relation. The lock arrangement includes an upper and lower lock housing 56 and 58 and a lock mechanism 60. The lock mechanism 60 is operably associated with the pull housing 54 and includes upper and lower lock pins 62 and 64, an actuatable lock handle 66 for retracting the pins from a first position to a second position, and a torsion spring (not shown) acting to bias the handle and the lock pins into the first position.
  • The upper lock housing 56 is fixedly secured interiorly of the upper guide track 30 and includes a recess 56 a adapted to captivate the lock pin 62.
  • The pull housing 54 is used to pull the forward end 34 d of the panel 34 away from the wall 18 and towards the wall 20 and register the lock pin 62 with the lock housing 56.
  • The lower lock housing 58 is in the form of a sphere, comprised of rubber or like elastomer, and is fitted to the end of the lower lock pin 64, is positionable in the recess 17 formed between the strips 15, and is normally biased into contact with the floor 14. The sphere or lock housing 58 forms a stopper that normally engages the floor 14 to inhibit unwanted retraction of the panel and position the panel in a less than complete room separating relation.
  • In operation, substantially simultaneously, the handle 62 is rotated, whereupon the lock pin 62 and 64 are retracted from the first position and associated relation with the lock housings 28 and 30, and the pull handle 60 pulls the panel edge 34 d to the wall 20 and the locking pins into the second position. The panel and locking pins may be moved to a position between the walls 18 and 20, the handle released, whereupon the locking pin 64 will drive the stopper downwardly and into frictional engagement with the floor. The panel may be moved proximate to the wall 20 whereupon the lock pin 60 is registered with the lock housing 56, registered with a captivating recess 56 a of the lock housing 56, the handle released, and the pin 62 biased into locked (i.e., nested relation) with the recess 56 a, and preventing the panel from being drawn backwards towards the wall 18. While suitable arrangement are known by those skilled in the art, a torsion spring (not shown) is preferably used to bias the pins towards their respective guide tracks 28 and 30.
  • Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated herein, it is recognized that modifications and variations may readily occur to those skilled in the art and consequently, it is intended that the claims be interpreted to cover such modifications and equivalents.

Claims (20)

1. In a hospital room having a floor and ceiling, a pair of spaced walls, and a room divider for separating the room into at least two separate medically private areas, said room divider comprising a thin substantially rectangular shaped panel of flexible material and dimensioned to extend between the floor and between the spaced walls, the improvement comprising:
a mounting arrangement for mounting one end of the room divider to one said wall and the other and extendable end of the divider for extension away from and retraction towards said one wall and extension towards and away from the other wall, and
said divider panel being a laminated structure and including an inner layer sandwiched between a pair of outer layers, the inner layer being comprised of a sound deadening material to inhibit sound from passing between the separated spaces when the divider is extended.
2. The improvement of claim 1, further wherein
the outer layers are comprised of a polymeric material resistant to moisture and sound penetration, and further comprising
a pair of elongated wiper elements of compressible material, said elements being impregnated with a material to kill bacterial and microbial substances and mounted proximate to said one wall and for wiping engagement with respective of the outer layers during extension and retraction of the divider panel.
3. The improvement of claim 1, further wherein the sound deadening provides an acoustic barrier to sound transmission between 125 and 4,000 Hz.
4. The improvement of claim 1, wherein the outer layers and inner layer are conjoined to one another in a manner to form a substantially air tight seal about their outer peripheries, the conjoined peripheries aiding in the deadening or muffling of acoustic sound transmission through the panel.
5. The improvement of claim 1, further wherein said mounting arrangement comprises:
a roller shaft, said shaft extending vertically between the floor and the ceiling and mounted for rotation in first and second directions,
means for biasing the roller in said first direction, said divider panel being wound and unwound on said roller, depending on the direction of rotation with said first direction causing the divider panel to be retracted and wound about the roller,
a ceiling channel vertically spaced above a floor channel, the channels extending between the walls and secured, respectively, to the ceiling and floor,
first means for connecting the upper edge of the divider panel to the ceiling channel, and
second means for connecting the lower edge of the divider panel to the floor channel,
the connecting enabling the divider panel and the edges thereof to translate between the walls.
6. The improvement of claim 5, wherein
said first means comprises a plurality of spaced apart roller assemblies, said roller assemblies supported in said ceiling channel for rolling movement therewithin and connected to the upper edge of the divider panel, and
said second means comprises at least one guide pin, the guide pin being disposed in said floor channel for gliding movement therewithin and connected to the lower edge of the divider panel.
7. The improvement of claim 6, further comprising lock means for locking the divider panel in first and second positions, respectively, when said extendable end is extended from the roller shaft and away from said one wall, said first position being defined by said other wall and said divider panel being extended to completely divide the room into two separated areas, and said second position being defined between the walls and the divider panel is positioned in a manner to incompletely divide the room into two areas.
8. The improvement of claim 7, wherein said lock means comprises:
an upper and a lower lock pin,
a body of elastomeric material connected to said lower lock pin, said ball being disposed in said floor channel and in juxtaposed relation with the floor,
a lock housing in said ceiling channel and proximate to the junction between said ceiling and said other wall, and
an actuatable lock handle connected to the extendable end of said divider panel, said lock handle being operably connected to said lock pins to move the upper lock pin into and from locked engagement with the lock housing and the elastomeric body into and from frictional engagement with the floor, the frictional engagement inhibiting movement of the divider panel from said second position.
9. The improvement of claim 6, further comprising a plurality of sealing skirts, the sealing skirts extending between the opposite walls with a respective of said skirts extending along each side of the ceiling channel and the floor channel to cover the junctions formed between the upper and lower edges of the divider panel and the respective channels to form acoustic barriers that seal against sound transmission between opposite sides of the divider panel.
10. An arrangement for temporarily dividing a hospital room into medically private patient areas, the room having first and second opposed walls that extend vertically between a floor and a ceiling, the arrangement comprising:
a multilayered divider panel, said panel having fixed and extendable ends and adapted to extend substantially between the floor and the ceiling and the opposite walls, said divider panel including an inner layer of sound deadening material sandwiched between outer first and second layers of a material resistant to attach and degradation by antibacterial and antimicrobial cleaning solutions,
means for mounting and constraining the divider panel for extending and retracting movement between the walls, the means for mounting including a roller shaft upon which the divider panel is wound and unwound, said roller shaft being disposed at said first wall and said panel having one end fixed to the roller shaft,
means for locking the divider panel, when extended, in a first and second positions and the extendable end, respectively, at the second wall and between the walls, and
means for sanitizing the opposite sides of the divider panel during extension and retraction.
11. The temporary room dividing arrangement of claim 10, wherein
said means for mounting and constraining including a ceiling channel, a floor channel, the channels being vertically juxtaposed with one another, connected to the ceiling and floor, and extending between the opposite walls, and means for retracting the extended divider panel towards the first wall and into wound relation with the roller shaft, and
said means for sanitizing includes a first and second cleaning applicator each impregnated with an antibacterial agent, the applicators being juxtaposed with one another and in compressible wiping engagement with one and the other of the outer layers of said divider panel during extension and retraction of the divider panel.
12. The temporary room divider of claim 10, further wherein said inner layer is conjoined in sealing relation with the outer layers to form an air tight peripheral sealing barrier therearound and therebetween to inhibit sound transmission and damp vibrations.
13. The temporary room divider of claim 10, further wherein said inner layer barrier is comprised of a sound deadening vinyl.
14. The temporary room divider of claim 10, further wherein said outer layers are formulated to include a flame retardant and damp vibrations.
15. The temporary room divider of claim 11, further wherein
said divider panel includes upper and lower edges, and
said means for mounting and constraining includes first and second connectors for connecting the upper edge to said ceiling channel for movement therein and the lower edge to said floor channel for movement therein, and
further comprising
means for acoustically sealing any acoustic gap that may exist between the connections formed between the channels and the edges of the divider panel to prevent sound from passing between the opposite sides of a divided room.
16. The temporary room divider of claim 11, further wherein said lock means comprises:
a lock handle at the extendable end of the divider panel, the lock handle being movable between panel locking and panel unlocking positions and having upper and lower lock pins normally biased into said panel locking position,
an upper lock housing at the distal end of the ceiling channel and the junction between the second wall and ceiling, the upper lock housing operating to interlock with the upper lock pin when the extendable end of the divider panel is extended to the second wall, and
a lower lock housing provided at the distal end of the lower lock pin, the lower lock housing comprising a body formed of an elastomeric material that is adapted be driven against the floor to resist movement of the divider panel.
17. An improved room divider arrangement for dividing a room having a floor and ceiling and opposed first and second walls into at least two separate areas, the room divider arrangement comprising:
a housing connected to said first wall, said housing extending vertically between the floor and the ceiling and including an interior chamber and an inlet communicating with the chamber,
a winding mechanism in said chamber, said mechanism including a roller mounted for rotation in first and second directions relative to a vertical axis between the floor and the ceiling, and means for normally urging the roller to rotate in said second first direction,
a thin continuous multiplayer divider panel of flexible materials and rectangular shape, the panel being adapted be wound onto and unwound from the roller when said roller is rotated in said first and second directions and comprising an inner layer of sound deadening material sandwiched between and intersecured to two outer layers of a polymeric material that have sound deadening properties and are resistant to antibacterial and antimicrobial cleaning agents, the panel having opposite sides or surfaces, a first end fixed to the roller and an extendable second end, and upper and lower edges, and
means for mounting and constraining the upper and lower edges of the panel for horizontal movement relative to the ceiling and the floor and the panel for extension from and retraction into the housing chamber, the panel being dimensioned to extend between the walls and form substantially gapless interfaces between the mounting arrangement between the floor and the ceiling when fully extended.
18. The room divider arrangement according to claim 17, further including cleaning structure juxtaposed with said inlet, said cleaning structure for automatically cleaning the opposite sides of the room divider panel upon extension and retraction of the panel through said inlet.
19. The room divider structure according to claim 18, wherein said cleaning structure includes a pair of elongated antibacterial applicators of resilient material juxtaposed in close juxtaposed relation with one another, the applicators provided with an antibacterial and/or antimicrobial substance and adapted to wipingly engage the opposite sides of the room divider panel to sanitize both sides of the panel as the panel is either extended or retracted.
20. The room divider arrangement according to claim 17, wherein the means for mounting comprises:
upper and lower guide tracks, respectively, affixed to the ceiling and the floor and in juxtaposed relation with one another,
means for connecting the upper and lower edges to the upper and lower guide tracks for translatory movement in the tracks, and
means for releasably locking the divider panel in a first position defined by the second wall and a second position between the walls, the means for releasably locking comprising:
upper and lower lock pins movably connected to a lock handle provided at the extendable end of the panel,
a lock housing in said first position for receiving the upper pin, and
a resilient lock ball connected to the lower lock pin for engaging the floor and retaining the panel in said second position.
US12/220,252 2007-07-23 2008-07-23 Apparatus for temporarily dividing a hospital room into medically private patient areas Abandoned US20090025321A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110179721A1 (en) * 2010-01-25 2011-07-28 Barry Michael I Prefabricated building modules for multi-unit housing
US8707630B1 (en) * 2010-11-01 2014-04-29 Walgreen Co. Pharmacy workspace with clinic station
US8776445B1 (en) * 2010-11-01 2014-07-15 Walgreen Co. Pharmacy workspace
US8776446B1 (en) * 2010-11-01 2014-07-15 Walgreen Co. Pharmacist workstation
WO2014100129A3 (en) * 2012-12-18 2014-09-04 Harter Sally L Disposable patient room divider curtain protective barrier film to reduce infection

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US1612498A (en) * 1925-09-15 1926-12-28 Wilson J G Corp Locking device for folding partitions
US3149663A (en) * 1962-11-06 1964-09-22 Mask O Matic Inc Window blind cleaning apparatus
US4056161A (en) * 1975-10-30 1977-11-01 Tillotson Corporation Sound attenuation material
US5577348A (en) * 1993-05-25 1996-11-26 Rosconi Ag Partition wall with sliding termination panel
US7207370B2 (en) * 2004-03-25 2007-04-24 Rite-Hite Holding Corporation Retractable safety barrier

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US1612498A (en) * 1925-09-15 1926-12-28 Wilson J G Corp Locking device for folding partitions
US3149663A (en) * 1962-11-06 1964-09-22 Mask O Matic Inc Window blind cleaning apparatus
US4056161A (en) * 1975-10-30 1977-11-01 Tillotson Corporation Sound attenuation material
US5577348A (en) * 1993-05-25 1996-11-26 Rosconi Ag Partition wall with sliding termination panel
US7207370B2 (en) * 2004-03-25 2007-04-24 Rite-Hite Holding Corporation Retractable safety barrier

Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110179721A1 (en) * 2010-01-25 2011-07-28 Barry Michael I Prefabricated building modules for multi-unit housing
US8621787B2 (en) * 2010-01-25 2014-01-07 Ironstate Development, Llc Prefabricated building modules for multi-unit housing
US8707630B1 (en) * 2010-11-01 2014-04-29 Walgreen Co. Pharmacy workspace with clinic station
US8776445B1 (en) * 2010-11-01 2014-07-15 Walgreen Co. Pharmacy workspace
US8776446B1 (en) * 2010-11-01 2014-07-15 Walgreen Co. Pharmacist workstation
WO2014100129A3 (en) * 2012-12-18 2014-09-04 Harter Sally L Disposable patient room divider curtain protective barrier film to reduce infection

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