This article describes the principles of vaccine inventory management. The thing that immediately attracts the reader’s attention is the level of detail in these procedures. A person, who is responsible for this task, must know exactly what quantities of diluents or vaccines have already been administered, and which of them have already been expired.
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Furthermore, he/she must be able to determine in what order they should be used and how they should be stored (National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, n. d. p 4). It seems that such meticulousness is quite justified in this case.
First of all, the accidental administration of expired or spoiled vaccine can imperil the patient’s health and even life, and such an accident will give rise to criminal investigation. Thus, these safety precautions are indispensible for this kind of inventory. Apart from that, such level of detail can be explained by the fact that vaccines are very expensive, and one has to regularly keep a record of them to reduce the cost of procurement.
We should also mention that only authorized members of the personnel have access to this inventory. To some extent, these guidelines are similar to those ones, proposed by Carl Warren (2008). These recommendations are supposed to prevent theft in the organization. Certainly, there is small likelihood that someone may try to take a vial of vaccine without permission but even the smallest possibility of risk has to be eliminated.
Moreover, this article touches upon such concept as stock rotation. In particular, the vaccines must be arranged according to their expiration dates. The vials with the early expiration dates must be placed in front (National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases n. d. p 3). Overall, such practice resembles that one employed by managers of grocery shops. They also arrange perishable goods, especially milk or meat according to their expiration dates. This approach allows the management to decrease inventory turnover.
It is possible for us to argue that inventory management helps to protect vaccines or diluents in several ways. One of them is continuous monitoring of the stock. Medical workers pay close attention to the storage conditions such as temperature, humidity, lighting etc in order to insure that the vaccine is not spoiled.
As it has been noted before, the access to this inventory is granted only to the authorized personnel so that no one could possible misuse the vaccine. Finally, stock rotation and accounting aim to ensure that the hospital (or any other medical institution) has sufficient supplies of vaccines and diluents. Therefore, one may say effective inventory management techniques are mandatory for the effective functioning of a healthcare organization.
On the whole, this article is written for the needs of medical workers who are aware of medical terms and abbreviations. In this regard, we need to mention that the text abounds with various abbreviations like MMRV, MMR, and none of them is explained by the author. Most likely, the intended readers of this article are supposed to be knowledgeable about the procedures of storing drugs.
One may also argue that this article is well illustrated and the writer makes a good use of visual aids. Furthermore, his/her instructions are presented in the form of bullet points, and this feature greatly facilitates the reading of the text. This article is good example of medical writing; it has such characteristics as accuracy of instructions, clarity of presentation, and conciseness.
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. (n. d.) Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit. Web.
Warren C. (2008). Survey of Accounting. NY: Cengage Learning.