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EDI v6020 standard continues to gain traction

The latest Electronic Data Interchange standard – EDI v6020 – continues to make inroads in the Canadian healthcare supply chain, with successful pilot projects at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, ON, PROcure in Chatham, ON, and Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, ON. EDI v6020 has also been successfully implemented at Alberta Health Services and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

EDI bridges the gap between companies and systems by ensuring everyone uses a common language. EDI v6020 is the most updated standard for e–commerce transactions in healthcare. EDI v6020 enables the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents between organizations using a standard format, regardless of the type of computer or software each company uses.

Industry-led standards

GS1 Canada's Healthcare Technical Standards Work Group, a team comprised of healthcare providers, manufacturers and solution providers, collaboratively developed the latest EDI standard. Since the healthcare industry had not collaborated to update EDI standard since preparations for Y2K in the late 1990s, each component of the EDI standard was examined to ensure that the information was relevant and would serve the industry for years to come.

"This project was completed very quickly
with minimal effort from our staff."
– Alberta Tomkins, Purchasing Manager,
Hamilton Health Science

Results from industry collaboration

There are two main thrusts to bringing the new standard into mainstream use. First and foremost, the provider community must be able to send and receive the new version. This was successfully accomplished as follows :

Alberta Tomkins, Purchasing Manager at HHS, said, "With support from MEDITECH and GS1 Canada, along with the cooperation from our vendors (Cardinal Health and Medical Mart), this project was completed very quickly with minimal effort from our staff. More importantly, we are now able to start sending EDI v6020 documents to any vendor at the flick of a switch!"

The second thrust is to work with the manufacturer community. VWR International (VWR) expects to introduce the new standard by early 2013 and join Cardinal Health and Medical Mart Supplies in accepting EDI v6020 documents. Robert West, Executive Vice President of Medical Mart Supplies, said "Our corporate goal is to ensure that we keep at the forefront of the supply chain standards as the transformation of Canadian healthcare continues".

Alicia Duval, Senior Vice President at GS1 Canada, encourages all providers and manufacturers to get involved. "The successes of the EDI v6020 adoption projects demonstrate the ease of implementation, and support the movement to a standards-based healthcare delivery system in Canada."

For information or assistance with introducing EDI version 6020, please contact Nicole Golestani, Manager, Healthcare Implementation, GS1 Canada at 416.510.8039 ext. 2513 or nicole.golestani@gs1ca.org.



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