GS1 Healthcare Day 2016
“We are sitting on a large mountain of data and there is nothing we can do with it. We need smart infrastructure and more technology to actually be able to use this data,” said Stephan Sigrist, the founder and CEO of W.I.R.E., in his presentation about the “Future of Healthcare” and what will drive it. His keynote speech was the opening event of the 2016 GS1 Healthcare Day that took place on 28 September, which was all about “Identification as a Cure.” Some healthcare companies have already discovered the potential that lies, according to Stephan Sigrist, in the large amount of unstructured data, and used it to their benefit. The technological key to this potential is “Electronic Data Interchange” (EDI), which allows the pharmaceutical industry and its complex processes to increase efficiency and save considerable amounts of money.
One example is the pharmacy wholesaler Herba Chemosan, which uses this innovative approach to exchange orders (ORDERS) as well as other business documents including purchase order responses (ORDRSP), electronic despatch advices (DESADV) and invoices (INVOIC) with its partners via the EDI platform eXite®. At this year’s Healthcare Day, Artur Pokorny, head of supply chain processes at Herba Chemosan Apotheker-AG, explained how the paperless supply chain works in practice, saying that “it is all about making processes faster and better. Once a standardized format has been found, all suppliers will be required to use it.” One of these suppliers is Pfizer, a company which now delivers all data electronically following its connection to the system. Markus Edelbacher, head of logistics, customer service und trade at Pfizer Corporation Austria GmbH, spoke at the 2016 Healthcare Day and highlighted one of the major benefits associated with switching to EDI: “Thanks to automated processes, we now have resources available that we can put to better use in others areas, including customer care, for example.”
The EDI provider EDITEL assisted both companies in their process optimization efforts and defined consistent standards for the healthcare industry in a joint working group. Christoph Stenech, senior sales consultant at EDITEL Austria GmbH, is convinced that industry-wide solutions are the way to go. “We believe in taking our 30 years’ EDI experience in the food industry to other industries and helping them implement EDI from day 1,” he said.