10.02. Prescription entry

In dispensary mode, supply of items is made against a patient's prescription rather than an invoice as in store mode. Click on New prescription from the menu bar to display the prescription entry window:

When you are entering a patient name, mSupply will treat anything entered before a comma as a last name, and anything entered after a comma as a first name.

  • For example, to find John Smith, enter “Smi,J” or “smith,joh”
  • If the patient's name code is known, enter a “*” (no quotes) and then the name code or part of it. eg “*58298”

In the Name field (screenshot above) enter your patient's name, or even just part of their name, for example, 'Sn, R' for 'Rick Snail' - so just part of the patient's last name, comma, and then their first initial, and then press the tab key.

If your patient is already loaded in the system, then this entry should bring up the patient in question, or a list of patients for you to choose from.

  • Always search for your patient in this way first, before entering a new patient, to avoid entering the same patient multiple times.
  • If there is more than one matching name, you are shown the name choices window

  • Once you have found the correct patient, double-click the appropriate line, and then click Use.
  • When you select a patient you will be shown their Notes, how to update this is described here here
  • If the patient is not already stored in mSupply you'll need to add a new patient. How to do that is described here

Once you have chosen a patient, you can click the small down-arrow to the right of the patient name to display a window where the patient details can be edited (see below):

Clicking the Print icon at this point will give you access to reports showing all prescription history.

Once you've chosen a patient, the cursor will automatically advance to the prescriber entry field.

To enter a prescriber, you can type either their code, their last or first name in full or abbreviated, or “last comma first”. For example for the prescriber Dr Felix Brown (whose code is 123) any of the following are acceptable:

  • 123
  • bro
  • fel
  • bro,fe

Press the tab button after making the entry to show a list of matching prescribers. If only one prescriber matches, the name will be entered directly without the list being shown.

On the Prescription entry window click on New line , and Add item window appears.

Once the item name and quantity have been entered, provided that the Show direction entry in dispensary mode option has been selected in Preferences, directions on how to take the medicine should be entered.

For many commonly prescribed items, default direction abbreviations can be defined - refer to the section on Item Default Directions. In the example below, the item being dispensed is FRUSEMIDE 40mg tablets, and the default directions are “Take ONE tablet in the morning”. Alternative directions present may be displayed by clicking on the down arrow to the right of the abbreviated direction field; directions not already present may be typed in using either the Abbrev entry area, or the Expanded entry area.

Note that you can mix abbreviations and text like this.

The drop-down list shows any default abbreviations you have entered for the chosen item. If one or more default abbreviations exists, the highest priority default abbreviation will be 'suggested' when you choose the item. If there is more than one standard abbreviation available, you can choose another one by choosing it from the drop-down list.

mSupply stores the expanded text for each line, not the abbreviation. This means that there is a full audit trail of what was printed on the label (unless you edit the directions after printing!).

The set up of default directions is done on the dispensing tab when editing an item. You will find it described here.

In the new prescription entry window, once you have entered a patient name you can click the “history” button to view a patient's history of what you have dispensed.

Once you have a history window open you can click to select a single entry or control-click to select multiple entries, then click the “duplicate” button to create new prescription line(s) with exactly the same details. Stock will be issued for these lines automatically.

mSupply allows for the recording of repeat prescription. This is achieved when the prescription is first dispensed; in the Add item window, click on Total field in Repeats box in the top right corner of the window, and enter the number of repeats that the prescriber has authorised. The Repeat Dispensing procedure is described here.

The Repeats panel (upper right of the window shown below) allows details of repeat prescriptions to be recorded. Take the example of a patient presenting a precription for Frusemide 40mg tabs x 30 on 1st January 2007, with the prescriber requesting “Repeat monthly x5”; in the Total field you should enter “5”, and in the Expiry Date field you have the option of entering (a) the actual date on which the final repeat may be issued - in this example, “1 July 2007” (allowing the patient one month's grace) - or (b) “6m” for 6 months. Note that the characters “D”,“W” & “M” in upper or lower case are interpreted in this particular field as the specified number of days, weeks or months before the repeat instruction expires. mSupply defaults to an expiry date two months later than the current date, but this may be edited as appropriate. The system automatically updates the number of repeats remaining as the patient makes further visits to have the repeats dispensed. The window below is displayed when you click on the New line in “ Prescription window

The number of repeats is assigned in Total field in Repeats box, and as the repeats are dispensed, the number remaining is displayed in the Left field.

When you click on the blue arrows on the upper right side ,the total repeat number and total quantity for each repeat is shown. Clicking on the small arrow displays the window below.

This window allows the user to alter the quantity of a particular repeat - e.g. if there is insufficient stock on a particular visit of the patient; the quantity can be edited by clicking on the quantity line, and again clicking on the quantity, which may now be edited. The arrow on the left bottom corner enables you to restore the default quantity setting.

Once you have filled repeat and other details on the Add item window properly, click on OK button to save details.

The Repeats icon is contained in Prescription entry.

When the Repeat function is used, and there are future repeats to be issued, the icon appears on a red background:

The red background disappears when either:

  • expiry date is reached
  • all repeats have been dispensed

You can issue the repeat to a particular patient. Clicking on the Repeats icon displays this window:

The repeat window shows items to be dispensed, quantity, total repeats, repeats remaining and expiry date for a particular repeat. Process repeats and OK button are described below.


Click the OK button to exit from the Repeats window

Process repeats

This button is used to issue the repeat for a particular patient and for a particular item line. For issuing the repeat, first select a desired item line and then click on the Process repeats button. Now the system automatically manages the repeats internally.

Dispensing labels are printed when the Print labels box is checked in the Prescription Entry window. You can specify what information gets printed on dispensing labels in Dispensary Mode Preferences.

Sample labels, produced by the Zebra TLP2844 printer are reproduced below:

mSupply currently is designed to work with the Zebra TLP 2844 label printer. The Zebra is a very nice printer. It can use either thermal labels or a thermal ribbon which gives non-fading results.

We currently support plain 90 x 40mm label stock as this is cheap and readily available. The Zebra printer is auto-sensing of the ending of a label, so you can most likely used labels longer than 40mm with no problems.

  • Label specifications:
  • 90mm x 40mm high
  • White Matt Thermal Transfer Paper
  • Wide Edge Leading
  • 1 Across on a roll
  • Perforation between each label
  • Produced on 1“ core to suit TLP2844

We are happy to support other printers if you use a different brand.

If you need to print the labels for an item again, choose Patient > Show Prescriptions to locate the prescription entry.

In the list of items dispensed, click on the line you wish to reprint, and then click OK (with the printing checkbox checked)

If you wish to reprint labels for all the items on the prescription, first click in the list of items below the last item so that now one item is highlighted. Then all labels will be preinted when you click OK

If you want to print more that one label for an item, hold down the Alt key ( Option on Mac) as you click the OK button. You will be asked for the number of labels required as the label is about to print.

As the quantity of a particular batch of an item gets used up, you will need to issue stock from more than one batch to a patient. mSupply handles this when printing labels, and combines the totals for any item on a prescription so that only one label is printed for the total quantity.

The directions for the item with the first line number will be used, so enter directions for the first batch you dispense, and leave the directions empty for subsequent batches.

Note: if you have the rare situation where you need to issue the same item to one patient with different directions you should either combine the directions onto the one label, or enter two prescriptions with the directions entered differently on each prescription (That is enter the line, then print the label(s), then choose Patient > New prescription and issue the item again with the second set of directions).

You can set a receipt to be printed on labels by default in Dispensary Mode Preferences.

Receipts are printed when the Print receipt box is checked in the Prescription Entry window. Receipts may also be reprinted by opening the prescription and checking the Print receipt box again.

After printing the medicine labels, a patient receipt will be printed as shown below.

Should you wish to use a different printer for receipts, this option can easily be incorporated in mSupply if you advise us of your requirements.

  • Last modified: 2020/03/16 11:10
  • by Gary Willetts