Workflow 4: Manage Inventory

General Description

This workflow describes how EHRs and other clinical software systems use available information to assist with managing the immunization inventory available in the provider’s setting.

Patients eligible for special guarantee programs, such as Vaccine for Children’s (VFC), should receive the doses provided by the program. Those patients not eligible for VFC or similar programs should receive private vaccine stock. This user workflow enables the provider to determine patient eligibility for special guarantee programs and whether the provider’s vaccine dose is eligible for the program. The goals of this process are to: 1) identify the appropriate vaccine stock to provide to the patient, based on the patient’s eligibility for guarantee programs, and 2) document when vaccine doses from one program are borrowed and assure that stock is replenished.

Requirements Within this Workflow

4.1: Display Available Vaccine Antigens

4.2: Update Vaccine Inventory from Patient Dosage Administration

4.3: Update Vaccine Inventory from Stock Receipt

4.4: Notify of Vaccine Dose Expiration

4.5: Produce Vaccine History Report

Who Performs This Workflow

  • Clinicians (physicians, nurses and other personnel who assist with providing immunizations)

Examples of Work Related to This Workflow

  • Most providers interviewed for this project stated that specific personnel in their offices manage their vaccine inventory using paper logs or electronic spreadsheets. In most practices, an individual staff member then enters the inventory into the practice’s EHRs manually, including the vaccine lot number and expiration date.  Once this information is entered into the EHR or other clinical software systems, most such systems offer drop-down lists that staff members can use to order vaccines and document the vaccine administered more quickly.
  • The American Immunization Registry Association has established requirements for inventory management.[1] Some public health registries provide inventory management software that help providers manage guarantee program inventory, as well as private stock. Participating providers enter and manage this information in the public health registry software manually.  As vaccine doses for the guarantee programs are used and reported to the registry, the software updates the amount of available stock. The provider can also order more vaccine from VTrckS for the guarantee program. Ordering to replenish private stock is the responsibility of the provider.
  • Some hospital software vendors produce inventory applications that allow customers to order all materials the office needs, including examination gloves, syringes, alcohol wipes, medications, and vaccinations. These inventory software products use an existing American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard, Advanced Ship Notification (EDI 856[2]), to transmit data from the warehouse to the inventory software. However, there is no known connection of such applications to clinical software used to order and administer vaccines.

[1]American Immunization Registry Association. Immunization Information System Inventory Management Operations: Recommendations of the AIRA Modeling of Immunization Registry Operations Workgroup (MIROW). June 14, 2012. Web. 20 March 2014. Available at: Accessed 9 December 2014.

[2] Cardinal Health. 856 Advance Ship Notice: Supplier Implementation Guide. 2007. Web. 4 March 2014.  Accessed 9 December 2014.