A new feature has been added to Medico Combo and Alpaca pack types, to extract most cautionary and advisory information out of the Rx directions and print them on the main pack label.

How does it work? 

The Dispensary program looks at the directions for each medicine in the pack. Any CAL’s it finds in the directions, are separated out into a new column as abbreviated CAL’s. The full expansion of each CAL is printed at the bottom of the pack label. Medico combo CAL’s print in a grid of 4 rows x 3 columns, Alpaca’s in 3 rows x 4 columns. 

NOTE: Due to the limited space on the dosepack label, existing information on packs is shrunk to make space for the CAL’s. If the number of lines on the pack is left at 7 (the default), the font size for existing label information will be significantly reduced to make room for the CAL’s. We suggest that the pack label is reviewed and edited to a maximum of 4 lines (blank lines are counted). Reducing the number of lines in the dosepack type will maintain an acceptable font size but doing this without first reviewing the packs may mean that label information gets lost.

What to review:

  • Check pack labels: Edit labels as necessary to just 4 lines, then edit the dosepack type to change the number of lines to 5. The fifth line is used for the pack expiry date. (From menu: 5, 7, 5, F11).
  • Check Directions: If packs have had directions with CALs removed for audit reasons, the full directions (including CALs) can be restored. Edit the pack itself and use F10 Other, D Refresh dosepack item directions. 

Turn CAL’s on.

Edit the dosepack type (From menu: 5, 7, 5, F10 Other) and use the CAL’s defaults. 

The option is only available for Medico Combo or Alpaca pack types, and only where the page 2 Prescription Summary Parameter option on the pack type is set to Expand directions

The CAL’s defaults will set 

  • the new Prescription Summary Parameter CALs column, setting a default width of 80 (roughly room for 2 CAL’s per medicine). If a wider column is needed this can be increased. This extra column may mean that the Rx number is truncated, print a dummy pack to check this. Column width for the Medicine name or directions may need to be reduced by 80 in order to restore the Rx number. 
  • the new CAL’s printing area definition. These are on page 3 of Edit dosepack type (see Further Notes for screenshot). 
  • the Use abbreviated CAL’s option, set for Medico Combo pack type and unset for Alpaca. A set of hard coded abbreviated CAL’s are used on the Medicon Combo pack type by default due to the limited label space. The default for Alpaca type is just to use the pharmacy defined abbreviations.

 The CAL’s defaults will NOT change the number of default lines on the label because of the danger of losing important information from the label (see previous page). Check all pack labels and then manually change when confident of no data loss. (From dispensary menu: 5, 7, 5, F11). 

Print Setup

The print setup is tricky and some ‘tweaks’ may be needed before the CALs print perfectly. Consider creating a new dosepack type (copy the existing dosepack type to keep all the other information) and to move packs onto the new type gradually, checking that they ‘look’ right as you go. 

The most frequently adjusted parameters are: 

  • the Dosepack label height in the Edit dosepack. If this is a larger than 220 the CAL’s may print too low. Reduce the height until they do.
  • The Cal’s left setting in Edit dosepack, page 3. Add 20 to this if Cal’s are printing a little too far to the left.

Further Notes

  • The CAL’s : /b With food and /d until finished, are not stripped out of the directions, for readability sake. 
  • If the option Include warnings in directions on Edit Dosepack, page 3 is NOT set, no top line warnings will come through from the prescription to the pack and therefore they will not print with the other CAL’s. 
  • The CAL’s font size is fixed, there are no size adjustment options. 
  • If the CAL’s are to be removed from the Prescription Summary Parameters, a CALs width of 1 (rather than 80), will remove the CAL’s from the summary but still print the expanded CALs on the label 
  • If the CAL’s are required on the summary but NOT on the label, set the CAL’s left and top to zero and the width and height to 1 (see below). 

Hard coded abbreviated Cal’s for reference.