Dispensing Inventory Management for small sites?

How do folks handle inventory management, if you don’t have a large on-site team to set up a heavy-duty ERP system?

Can Odoo be used for small scale sites?

Asking since for #ethiohri this is functionality we need to figure out (both dispensing and inventory management/ stock mgmt). And I know we have been hesitant to build inventory management into the EMR itself, as we would like to stay focused on our core competency and recognize the competency of other focused systems.

CC @dagim @ddesimone @mogoodrich @mksd @mksrom @reagan & welcome any others

Once upon a time, @BandaHealth developed this: OpenHMIS Inventory Module - Documentation - OpenMRS Wiki. But they probably are not using it anymore.

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IMHO Odoo doesn’t work well for small sites, and we are keen to identify alternatives for such use cases.

@grace you brought up yourself in our private conversations the fact that ERPNext had been selected at a site in Kenya, however that was a big site. We will investigate ERPNext as an alternative offering of Ozone, I’m not sure yet if that is the “Odoo for small sites” or not (but I’m really excited about ERPNext nonetheless.)


I am not an expert at all in this domain but at most PIH sites we use https://openboxes.com. (cc: @justin )

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@here in UgandaEMR we have a mini dispensing which utilizes Orders and Observation as a way of fulfilling orders. We do not have inventory stock management. Our strategy was to have an external inventory that we can connect to. But for small Sites its becoming evident that we might need something bundled in.

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Thanks so much for sharing your experience @slubwama, that is very very interesting. I was kind of imagining the same strategy of something external but your comment is making me rethink. Do you think this external integration could still be possible for small sites, if we were to find a light enough solution that could somehow still be bundled?

@grace Yes, that can be done. As a matter of fact, we have been working on a generic way to share fhir resources to any receiving system that accepts fhir and we have seen some great success on that. We built this in mind as a future plan to share orders to the pharmacy system using the MedicationReuqsts that work might work well. So I believe on our side this is possible if a system is ready to receive fhir resources.

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This is really helpful!! @slubwama does this mean you guys have already basically mapped the OMRS Data Model to FHIR MedicationRequests and/or MedicationStatement and/or MedicationDispense and/or Adverse Event?

I ask because it just so happens that (as mentioned in this post today), we somewhat urgently need the OMRS FHIR API to support all of those examples. So I’m wondering if we can really benefit from this work you’ve already done :slight_smile: Could you share a link to any relevant repos, docs etc?

@grace We actually leverage FHIR2 Module in our UgandaEMR Sync Module for generating the resources. So whatever fhir offers is what we get. At the moment the FHIR2 Module supports the MedicationRequest. AdverseEvent and MedicationDispense are not yet building in.

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Ah gotcha, so you guys would have the same resources supported that we would have through FHIR2.

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Yes. And we are using our module as a testing point for possible Additions of resources which later we can easily migrate into the fhir2 module. Like we have been testing how EpisodeOfCare can Map to programs. This has come in handy in raising requests that help shape core to alight to fhir. Case in point [TRUNK-6070] Add Patient Program to Patient Identifier - OpenMRS Issues. We are seeing patterns that really need improvements and we keep contributing for the greater good of OpenMRS even when it has immediate benefits for us.

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