Basic Hospital Information Management Application

Bhima is a free, open source accounting and hospital information management system (HIMS) tailored for rural hospitals in Africa. We are an international team based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Overview of Inventory Management


Before discussing inventory and stock management in BHIMA, we must establish some terminology.

In BHIMA, inventory is used to define the concept of goods and services that can be purchased and sold and are referred to with codes and names. The term inventory also applies to assets such as computers, instruments, and tools that are purchased and used by the organization (but perhaps never sold). The physical items received some suppliers and housed in the depot are called stock and are referred to by lot numbers. For assets the term “lot” refers to a specific asset.

To help clarify the difference between stock and inventory, it is useful to consider what properties apply to each.

The following are properties of inventory:

  1. Name - the name of the good or service that can be bought and sold
  2. Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) Account - each item of stock is valued at the purchase price. When a good is sold or lost, an expense is recorded in the cost of goods sold account.
  3. Stock Account - once purchased, the value of the goods are written into the stock account.
  4. Sales Account - the sales account is credited for every sale of the good. To understand if you are making a profit on sales, the value of the sales account is compared to the cost of goods sold account. If the value is higher, the institution is making a profit.

The following are properties of stock:

  1. Purchase Price - each stock item is bought from a vendor at a price. This is the purchase price.
  2. Expiration Date - perishable stock will have an expiration date. This date will differ from lot to lot.
  3. Lot Number - the identifier used to distinguish between different articles in stock. Often, this is issued by the manufacturer.

A Philosophical Analogy

If you are still struggling to understand the relationship between stock and inventory, a useful analogy is that inventory is a platonic form and stock is the physical manifestation of that form. The institutions sells the inventory item of "Quinine in 500 milligram capsules", but it may not be in stock. If it is in stock, a particular lot of Quinine might have an expiration date that is different from other Quinines in stock.

Features of Stock Management

Stock management in BHIMA has some powerful features:

Stock Management’s Dependencies

To manage stock with BHIMA there are some dependencies that must be completed beforehand.

Inventory Management

This management requires certain prerequisites: