Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is commonly defined as the transfer of structured data (by agreed message standards) from one computer system to another without human intervention. Even with such technology advances as XML, Web services and use of the Internet, EDI is still the data format used for the vast majority of electronic commerce transactions in the world. Once the EDI information is sent, back-end systems convert the data through a translator into a single format for use by the receiver.
With the advent and evolution of fee-for-service or inventory agreements between distributors and manufacturers in the healthcare supply chain, the accurate and efficient exchange of information surrounding sales, inventory levels, forecasts and more is critical. The development and use of voluntary guidelines for specific EDI standards provide industry trading partners with a means to effectively convey the necessary information.
HDMA supports the development of guidelines for EDI transactions that enable the use of standards in support of distributor service agreements in our industry.
HDMA’s eCommerce Task Force (eCTF) periodically reviews and updates voluntary technical standards and guidelines for healthcare distribution.