The Use of EMR Supply Chain Module to Improve Supply Chain Management

David Masese, Richard Ngethe, Stanley Njoroge, Lucy Nganga, Lanette Burrows, and Bobby Jefferson


Supply, Chain, Public Healh, Informatics


Issues: Supply chain management in healthcare is inefficient and laborious. In part because tools developed for inventory management of consumables are too simple and ineffective, or, conversely, too detailed, convoluted and costly. Additionally, there is a scarcity of tools that connect inventory management to patient care and program management, through seamless linkage of clinical data collected at patient encounter points, inventory managed by pharmacists and lab managers, and finances controlled by accountants and program managers. Description: With support from health care providers at partnering institutions, including the pharmaceutical and supply chain team at University of Maryland School of Medicine Kenya, Futures Group has developed a robust open source electronic medical records system (EMR), IQCare. IQCare is nationally accredited by Kenya National AIDS & STI Control Program as a ‘national’ EMR, to capture data for HIV services within ministry of health treatment facilities. One of IQCare’s major features is a Supply Chain Management Module (SCM). The SCM feature is highly configurable and comprehensive. Organizations can use the SCM to manage any kind of inventory, from drugs to lab reagents to office supplies. Integrated into the SCM is the cost of goods. Aggregated facility expenditures are available in data and graph format in the facility reports of IQCare. These reports include Facility Monthly ARV Summary Report, Commodities and Consumption Data Reports and ARV Patient Summaries. Lessons learnt: The SCM has been successfully deployed to manage HIV related medications in select program supported facilities. The success and ease of use of the module will justify its expansion into other, non-HIV related, and health system strengthening interventions. Close collaboration with pharmacy experts improved the work flow and data requirements resulting in better acceptance of the SCM. Next steps: Improve SCM coverage within health facilities running IQCare to improve integrated patient management. Modifications should be anticipated as pharmacy/laboratory technicians and others implement the system and identify enhancements to improve usability.

Important Links:

Go Back