Inventory Item Setup and Management

Estimated reading: 23 minutes

Inventory type invoice items are used for both billing and inventory management purposes. The invoice item type determines how revenue is tracked through service vs. inventory sales reports. Inventory items can also be added to group codes and pick lists. When creating or modifying inventory items, be sure to review the tabs to ensure complete setup

Before you start




  • Search your item list, including inactive items, before creating a new item to avoid duplicate items.
  • Once associated with a patient record, items cannot be deleted, only inactivated.
  • IDs and descriptions should be entered as alphanumeric characters only. Special character use is not recommended.
    • Do NOT use these special characters: % $ ^ ( ) [ ] { } ; : ! @ ^ & * ®™
    • These special characters can be used, but only in descriptions: / + # –
  • Selecting Maintain QOH sets the item’s quantity and cost on hand to 0 and the item will be displayed on inventory reports.
  • When adding expiration date or lot number tracking to items already maintaining QOH and with existing stock, perform an Edit Lot & Exp from the View Quantity on Hand window so the information is available for staff to select from when verifying inventory details.

Setup an inventory item

New Items

Navigate to Lists > Invoice Item > New.

  1. Accept, modify, or enter an Item ID up to 7 alphanumeric characters, and press the Tab key.
  2. Select Inventory.

Existing Items

Navigate to Lists > Invoice Item > search for and select invoice item > Update.

Information tab

  1. Enter or modify a hospital description up to 40 alphanumeric characters. This description displays in the Invoice Item List, reports, and in the patient’s record.
  2. Enter or modify a client description, if applicable. This step is only necessary if the client description differs from the hospital description. This description will display on:
  3. Select or modify the primary classification. A subclass can also be selected, if applicable.
  4. Enter or change the revenue center ID or press F2 to search and select from your revenue center list if using item level revenue center assignments.
  5. Scan a sell barcode, if applicable.
  6. In the type area, make selections as appropriate:
    • Status indicates active or inactive.
    • Miscellaneous item allows modification of the description when added to estimate, Patient Visit List (PVL), invoice, or prescription.
    • Controlled substance allows item to be tracked on the Controlled Substance Report.
    • Hazardous indicates that the product is considered hazardous. Once checked, the MSDS selection becomes available to indicate that you have the MSDS sheet on file.
    • Display on Vaccine Tab when invoiced, the item will appear on the vaccine tab in the patient history section of the Patient Clipboard.
    • Unit of Measure indicates the smallest selling unit for the item. If you don’t want to use a unit of measure with this item, select [None]. 
  7. Enter a minimum price, if applicable, to prevent the selling price from dropping below a certain threshold.
  8. Select one of the following pricing options for dispensing:
    • Enter or modify the Dispensing Fee. The dispensing fee is included in the cost of the item upon invoicing. This option is best when you use a single dispensing fee for the item.
    • Click Dispensing to view and select dispensing items that can be applied to this item. This option is best when you have different fees based on how the item is dispensed.
  9. Select Omit Dispensing Fee for Multiple Patients to charge one fee for dispensing the same item to multiple patients on the same invoice. The item is still placed in each patient’s medical record.
  10. Enter an estimate markup, if applicable. This automatically calculates a high price entry when creating estimates.
  11. Select Auto Calculate Price to calculate and update pricing when inventory orders are received at a higher cost. Once selected:
    • Specify to calculate by Percentage or Dollar Amount.
    • Select a Round To option, if applicable.
    • Enter the percentage or dollar amount for each Markup row.
  12. Enter a Base Amount. This price appears in the Price column in the Invoice Item List.
    • Enter tiered pricing quantities and amounts, if applicable. Quantity pricing information appears when you click the Price button in the Invoice Item List.
    • When entering tiered pricing, the amount field is multiplied by the quantity to arrive at the final price. In the above example, the item is billed at $30.00 per item until the quantity exceeds six. Then, the item is billed at $25.00 per item.
  13. Select the appropriate Allow Change setting to determine when the price of an item can be changed on an estimate, PVL, or invoice:
    • Always: No restrictions on who can or when the price can be changed.
    • Never: No one except an administrator can change the price.
    • Only increases: Price can only be increased, except by an administrator.
    • Only with a reason: A reason as to why the price is being changed is required. Set reasons up under Controls > Price Change Reasons.
    • Require change: A price change will be required upon saving or posting an estimate, PVL, or invoice. Use this for items that have a price of $0, so as not to forget to enter the price.
  14. Click OK to save your changes or proceed to another setup tab.

Instructions tab

Departing instructions print on the invoice based on the items invoiced. For example, notes on medication interactions, advice on what to expect following a vaccination, cautions for reactions, etc. To setup departing instructions, navigate to Lists > Departing Instructions.

  1. Enter departing instruction ID or F2 to search and select from your departing instruction list. Repeat as needed for additional instructions.
  2. To remove a departing instruction, click the ID field and press Ctrl + D.

Prescription instructions are used to automatically populate the Instruction field on a prescription label. These instructions can be modified at time of use. To set up prescription instructions, navigate to Lists > Prescription Instructions.

  1. Enter a prescription instruction ID or press F2 to search and select from your prescription instruction list. Only one prescription instruction can be linked to an item at a time.
  2. To remove a prescription instruction, clear the ID field and press the Tab key.
  3. For Veterinary Pharmacy Reference integrated practices only: The Pharmacy link information area allows you to link and configure this invoice item to its applicable medication in the pharmacy formulary.
  4. Click OK to save your changes or proceed to another setup tab.

Reminders tab

  • There are two types of reminders available in Cornerstone:
    • Letter-type reminders are used for the majority of reminder activities, like postcards, emails, and texting services, and appear on the Reminder Letter reports.
    • Call-type reminders are used to populate call backs on the Daily Planner and appear on the Reminder Recall reports.
  • Reminders should be set up to satisfy sequential and interchangeable items. For example:
    • The first FVRCP vaccine reminds for the second FVRCP vaccine in the series.
    • The final FVRCP vaccine in a series reminds for the annual FVRCP and satisfies for first and second FVRCP.
    • The rabies 3-year item satisfies the rabies 1-year item and vice versa.
  • Invoice items automatically satisfy reminders generated for themselves, including call back type reminders. For example:
    • A patient has an annual exam reminder. When invoiced for the same annual exam, the old reminder will be satisfied and the new one will be generated on the patient record for one year from the date it was invoiced.
  • Inventory items that may benefit from reminders include:
    • Preventive medication refills, like flea, tick, and heartworm medication.
    • Chronic medications, like thyroid, seizure, or arthritis medication.
    • Prescription diets.
  1. In the Reminders to generate area, right-click > New.
  2. Enter the Item ID or press F2 to search and select from the Invoice Item List.
  3. Select the reminder type. Tip: Use a generic call back item ID in cases where a direct item reminder to generate will also satisfy for itself. This retains the call back reminder in the patient file after the invoice is posted.
  4. For reminder timing, do one of the following and click OK:
    • Select Ask for months/days in invoicing to prompt for the specific reminder date in invoicing.
    • Enter the number of Months or Days after the item is invoiced to generate the reminder.
    • Repeat steps for additional reminders to generate as needed.
      To modify or delete an existing reminder, right-click > Update or right-click > Delete.
  5. In Letter reminders to satisfy area, right-click > New.
  6. Enter the Item ID or press F2 to search and select from the Invoice Item List and click OK.
  7. Repeat steps for additional reminders to satisfy as needed.
  8. To modify or delete an existing reminder, right-click > Update or Delete.
  9. Click OK to save your changes or proceed to another setup tab.

Tax/Disc tab

Link or remove taxes and discounts to invoice items at the item level. The Mass Markup Tool can be used to apply or remove across all items or multiple items based on item type and classification.

  1. Select the Sales Tax(es) to apply. Taxes are set up under Controls > Taxes.
  2. Select the discount(s) to apply. Discounts are set up under Controls > Discounts.
  3. Click OK to save your changes or proceed to another setup tab.

Inventory tab

You have the flexibility to setup inventory items to the level that suits your practice needs. Any inventory type item can be ordered and received using the inventory features. Maintaining QOH activates other tracking features such as expiration date/lot number tracking and min/max stock information. Refer to Setting Up Inventory Items overview for additional guidance.

  • Inventory type items can be further set to maintain quantity on hand (QOH), track expiration dates and/or lot numbers, and have reorder details set per tracking location.
  • Vaccines can have expiration date and lot details managed from the Vaccine tab.
  • Items that are not sold, used as a linked item, or only used internally may not require this level of tracking.
  1. NDC/DIN Code: Enter the drug’s identification number. When selected in prescription defaults, the NDC/DIN code prints on the prescription label in place of the serial number.
  2. Serial number: Enter the drug’s serial number. This may be the vendor’s product number. This information will print on the prescription label, if the NDC/DIN code is not selected in prescription defaults.
  3. Maintain QOH: Select to track quantity and cost on hand in inventory. When selected:
    • The item appears on inventory reports.
    • The item displays a QOH icon on the Invoice Item List.
    • Additional inventory tracking options are activated on this tab.
  4. Track expiration dates: Select to initiate tracking and require staff to:
    • Enter the item’s expiration date when an order is received into inventory.
    • Verify the date when the item is dispensed.
      Note: Vaccines can have this information managed under the Vaccine tab.
  5. Track lot numbers: Select to initiate tracking and require staff to:
    • Enter the item’s lot number when an order is received into inventory
    • Verify the lot when the item is dispensed.
      Note: Vaccines can have this information managed under the Vaccine tab.
  6. Buy/sell ratio: Select the unit of measure (UOM) used for purchasing the item and the number of sell units included in each buy UOM. The sell UOM is set up on the Info tab. For example:
    • 1 bottle = 500 tablets
    • 1 tray = 25 doses
    • 1 case = 12 cans
    • 1 bag = 1 bag
  7. Buy barcode: Use a barcode scanner to scan the item’s barcode or type the alphanumeric code that corresponds to the barcode on the box. The alphanumeric code is usually found beneath or to one side of the barcode.
  8. Item Vendor: Click to view and modify vendor information:
    • View, add, or remove vendors, and indicate primary vendor.
    • View, modify, or remove last purchase date and vendor cost.
    • Enter/modify the Vendor item ID/SKU linked to your Cornerstone Item ID for SmartOrder.
  9. Stock at locations:
    • For Single-Location Inventory (SLI) configurations: Select the location where this item will be stored.
    • For Multi-Location Inventory (MLI) configurations: Select each location in which this item will be stored.
  10. Enter Reorder information:
    • Select location: (MLI only) Select the location to which reorder information applies. If there are multiple locations, enter reorder points for each applicable location.
    • From and To: For seasonal item reorder details, change the month range and enter the following reorder information per defined range. If not seasonal, select a January to December range.
    • Reorder Pt.: Indicate the minimum number of selling units to have on hand. Items falling below the reorder point will appear on the Inventory Reorder Report and the Purchasing Work List.
    • Reorder Qty.: Indicate the number of buying units to purchase when minimum quantity is on hand.
    • Overstock Pt.: Indicate the maximum number of selling units to have on hand. This information drives the Overstock report and visual warning if an ordered quantity will reach overstocked levels.
  11. Click OK to save your changes or proceed to another setup tab.

Vaccine tab

The Vaccine information does the following:

  • Sets defaults for the most frequently used vaccine information
  • Manages multiple species-specific Manner of Administration/Years combinations
  • Tracks multiple expiration date and lot numbers

These settings will:

  • Automatically fill in vaccine information when issuing a vaccine tag.
  • Allow changes to be made at time of use, if necessary.

See Vaccine invoice item setup and use for more information on vaccine items.

  1. Select Issue vaccination tag to enable the vaccine tag settings.
  2. Select Rabies tag for rabies vaccines only.
    • This flags the item as a rabies vaccine to be added to the Rabies Tag Report.
    • Selecting will also display the Print certificate check box on the Vaccine Tag window.  
  3. Enter Producer/Mfr. and Brand information for this vaccine so staff will not need to complete this information manually when generating a vaccine tag. 
  4. Select the applicable vaccine Type.
  5. In the Administration by species area, do the following:
    • Select the species.
      • Select all possible Manner of Administration/Years combinations that apply to this vaccine and species. Selections will be available from drop-down lists on the Vaccine Tag window.
      • Select Print Rabies Cert. for each applicable Manner of Admin./Years combination. This preselects the Print certificate check box on the Vaccine Tag window.
      • Select Cert Default, if needed, for the selected combination to be the default Manner of administration and Number of years fields on the Vaccine Tag window. You can select different settings from the drop-down lists at time of use.
    • Repeat above steps for additional species, if needed.
  6. Click Manage List If you would like to add or delete Manner of Admin/Years combinations. 
    • Click New to select the appropriate Manner of Admin. and Years settings and click OK.  
    • Click Delete to remove a combination and click Yes to confirm the deletion.  
    • Click Close to return to the Vaccine Tab.  
  7. In the Available lot number and expiration dates area, enter a list of current lot numbers and expiration dates for this vaccine. This information will be available for selection from the Lot number and Drug expires fields on the Vaccine Tag window.
    • New vaccine information can also be entered on the Vaccine Tag window at time of use.
      • Doing this will prompt to add the new Lot Number/Expiration Date to this vaccine tab list.
      • This is especially useful when first person to open a new tray can enter for all without required access to item setup.
    • When a lot/exp date is consumed, return to this window and remove the lot/exp date row by selecting the row and Ctrl + D. You can also enter new lot/exp details as new product comes in.
  8. Click OK to save your changes and proceed to the service item step.  

Link Items tab

Add quantity tracking inventory items to be depleted when the related service or inventory is billed.  

Ex: Heartworm preventive free dose linked to tracking heartworm preventive dose, or a Heartworm test service linked to a SNAP 4Dx Plus test. 

  1. Enter the ID of the item or press F2 to search and select from the Invoice Item List. 
  2. Enter the quantity of the item to deplete when the primary item is invoiced.
  3. Repeat the steps to link additional items as needed.  
  4. Click OK to save your changes or proceed to another setup tab. 

Special Actions tab

Special Actions are additional activities that help automate workflows, such as printing a document, issuing a vaccine tag, or initiating a lab request when the billed item is added to a PVL or invoice. The following actions are available:

  • Image Request (service items only)
  • Lab Request (service items recommended)
  • Mark as Deceased
  • Prescription Label
  • Print Document
  • Sex Modification (service items recommended)
  • Update Vital Signs
  • Update Microchip ID
  • Vaccine Tag (service items recommended)
  1. Select the special action from the drop-down list.
  2. Select when to apply the special action. When to apply options vary based on special action:
    • Optional on invoice: When Post is selected on the invoice, a Special Action window will display with the option to process the special action.
    • Before invoice is posted: The Special Action window automatically displays when and invoice is posted.
    • Immediately on invoice/PVL: The special action window automatically displays as soon as the item is entered on a PVL or invoice.
    • Print after invoice posted: This option is for documents only.
  3. Add specific details as needed:
    • Image Request: Select modality, enter an exam description, if applicable.
    • Lab Request: Select a lab profile:
      • Double-click in the profile description field to open the Profile List.
      • Select the lab from the drop-down list.
      • Clear the Only profiles that can be requested check box.
      • Search for and select the profile
    • Print Document: Enter a document ID or press F2 to search and select from a list of documents.
    • Update Vital Signs: Enter number of days existing weight is considered current to prompt the user to update the patient’s weight and vital signs.
  4. To remove an existing action, select the action and click Delete.
  5. Click OK to save your changes or proceed to another setup tab.

Travel tab

If using travel sheets, add or remove items individually from the invoice item setup. Manage travel sheets and add/remove multiple items under Lists > Travel Sheets.

  1. Click on the travel sheet name to add or remove the item from the travel sheet.
  2. Click OK to save your changes or proceed to another setup tab.

Whiteboard tab

If using the Electronic Whiteboard, you can set default values and rules for items used to place Patient Orders. Multiple items can be set up using the Invoice Item Setup Tool’s Whiteboard tab.

  1. Select a default field type listed in the Patient Order defaults area.
  2. Specify the default value to use for the field, as applicable. Choose <None> to require the user to update at time of use.
  3. Select appropriate rule for When this default is changed on the Patient Orders window setting:
    • Also change the above default – the changed value becomes the new default value for this field.
    • Do not change the above default – the default value is retained.
  4. Select the appropriate Editing permissions setting:
    • All staff may edit for no staff restrictions when editing a patient order.
    • Only staff with security permissions may edit to require Whiteboard Orders Override security permissions to edit a patient order.
  5. Repeat the steps above for each Patient Orders field for which you want to set up defaults and change rules.
  6. Click OK to save your changes or proceed to another setup tab.

Additional information

Info tab

Instructions tab

Reminders tab

Tax/Disc tab

Inventory tab

Vaccine tab

Link Items tab

Special Actions tab

Travel tab

Whiteboard tab

Related reports

  • Invoice Item Setup Information Report
  • Invoice Item Information Report
  • Invoice Item Reminder Information Report
  • Invoice Item Tax Setup Report
  • Inventory Linked Items Report
  • Prescription Instruction Report
  • Departing Instructions Report
  • Rabies Tag Report
  • Vaccine Tag Report


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