Product Association Types

The Product association is a feature that allows us to track different products that are closely linked together. For example, if a depot is out of stock for Isoflurane, 250mL bottle, they can instead provide Isoflurane, 100 mL bottle to the requestor. OpenBoxes makes it easy to determine if a product can be substituted by another if needed. Similarly, a non-clinical product can be added as a corrective spare part for another product. 

Besides the example mentioned above, there are other product association types that are available in OpenBoxes. Please see below for the description of the product association types.

  1. Accessory: These are items that are usually purchased along with the initial purchase of equipment and do not need to be routinely purchased. These items are generally not kept in stock at the site level. Biomed technicians are primary users of this product type. Examples: Ultrasound carts, battery cases, and wall arms.  
  2. Substitute: Products that are comparable and similar in function. These items can be issued interchangeably by the warehouse and pharmacy teams without any impact on patient care. This association is helpful in fulfilling requests. 
  3. Replacement: A replacement is a product that takes the place of the original item, for example, if we remove an item from the global formulary and replace it with an improved option. This is different from substitution because the original item would no longer be fit for purpose. For example, if an item is removed because it was too hard to source, another item would be associated as a replacement instead of a substitution. 
  4. Consumable: Medical consumables required for drug administration or patient-level equipment usage. Tend to be single-use disposable items that are part of routine bulk orders. Clinical staff (such as Nurses and doctors) are the primary users of this product type. Examples: TPN giving sets and filters linked with the TPN products, breathing circuits linked with respective ventilators, and ECG paper.
  5. Preventative Spare Part: Preventative spare parts are replaced on a routine and predictable schedule for product maintenance by the Biomed team. They are critical to the equipment's functioning and should be kept in stock at the site level. Biomed technicians are the primary users of this product type. Examples: Non-negotiable items, filters, or valves.
  6. Corrective Spare Part: These spare parts are not predictable, and are purchased after testing and identifying a specific problem with a piece of equipment. These types of parts may or may not be kept in regular stock at sites. Biomed techs are the primary users of these product types.  
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