25.12. mSupply dispensary installation

mSupply provides a fully featured Pharmacy Dispensary module. The following steps describe how to configure mSupply for Dispensary use. This document specifically applies to Pharmacy Dispensary staff.

  • Set up users to log in in dispensary mode
  • Show direction entry: checked
  • Item codes must be unique: checked
  • Service items: can be set to “allowed” if recording non-stock charges- like a dispensing fee.
  • Show direction entry: checked
  • Allow placeholder lines: checked

You may want to consider setting stock to a very large number for each item. This will mean that stock is effectively ignored. Experience tells us it is very (very) hard to accurately track stock in a busy dispensary, and most likely unnecessary if you are tracking issues to the dispensary from another virtual store.

Go to Special > Stores > Double-click the dispensary store and set these preferences (and maybe others)

  • Patients created in this store not visible in other stores: checked
  • Names created in this store not visible in other stores: checked (may vary depending on situation)
  • Your training will have to take into account the setting for stock transfers that you choose here.

As dispensing is invariably in multiples of single tablets etc, you will want incoming stock converted to packs of one. You can do this on a per-item basis, but the better way is to go to Special > Stores > Double-click the store you're logged in to, and you'll see a visibility tab. On that tab click “Set pack to one for all visible items in this store”

If your dispensary store is 'Active' (refer Remote synchronisation, Store sync types) on a Sync Satellite server, then you will not see the Visibility tab when logged in to the store on that Sync Satellite server. These settings need to be done while logged in to the Sync Primary server.

Choosing a set of abbreviations should be a collaborative activity with staff. Note you can import abbreviations

If more than one language is used, you might want to make the same abbreviation with a suffix for the less common language. eg

Abbreviation Expansion Comment
tid dinko tin palta In your common local language (in this case Nepali)
tide three times a day add a suffix “e” to the same abbreviation when using for the English expansion

Latin abbreviations are universal

Abbreviation Expansion
od once a day
bd (or bid) twice a day
tid three times a day
qid four times a day
hs at bedtime
nocte at night
pr in the rectum
po orally (by mouth)
pv into the vagina
qqh every four hours
q6h every six hours

It is important to be consistent with choosing abbreviations so people can remember them. e.g.

Abbreviation Expansion
1t Take one tablet
2t Take two tablets
3t Take three tablets
ht Take half a tablet
1c Take one capsule
2c Take two capsules
wtf with tasty food

Users should be trained that you can mix abbreviations and normal text- wherever an abbreviation is encountered it will be expanded. It is important not to make an abbreviation that is a normal word in the language, else the expansion will happen when the word is typed.

This is important. See here The aim should be that every common item has all common directions saved as a shortcut. Pay attention to having the most common shortcut at the top of the list.

In a dispensary, your customers are the patients. Their details need to be recorded. This can be done prior to implementing dispensing through importing of patients - refer Patients. In many cases, you will find that there is no accessible database of patient names and that you will need to enter patients 'on-the-fly'. A New Patient button is on the Prescription entry window for this purpose. This will slow down the dispensing process, but over time, as more and more prescriptions are for 'existing' patients (e.g. for inpatients and chronic patients), this will become less of an issue.

Each new patient requires a patient code. This patient code can be applied automatically be ticking File > Preferences > Dispensary Mode > Auto-generate patient code. You also have the option here to prefix the codes with a string of text. This is particularly helpful in a multi-facility installation where patients may be referred from one facility to the next and you would like to know in which facility they first entered into the system.

mSupply allows prescribers to be recorded against each prescription. This can be made a requirement by ticking File > Preferences > Dispensary Mode > Prescriber must be entered. Making the recording of the prescriber mandatory will obviously slow down data entry during the dispensing process. In order to record prescribers with prescriptions, prescribers must be entered into the system - refer Prescribers.

Set printing to be on by default for new entries, and off by default for edits.

Train users on changing printers using Special > Printing preferences

It is important that printers have a static IP address. You can do this in two ways:

  1. Set a static IP address on the printer. Log on to http://printer_ip_address to do this. It's under network settings. The default IP for Zebra printers is
  2. Use the DHCP server on your network to set a Static DHCP mapping. This is preferred, as it's much easier to change.

With a Zebra GK 420 you can hold the front button until it flashes once, release it, then it will print out the IP address. Read all about it

  • Last modified: 2021/10/08 11:13
  • by Gary Willetts