EDI learning

EDI message testing / validation (Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS))

FMOLHS is currently developing a high performance, streamlined and automated supply chain, in large part due to the implementation of EDI and GS1 standards. Some years earlier, they processed the ‘touchless’ EDI order with zero errors, and have since replicated the process with additional suppliers. The journey to the touchless order has resulted in the health system confirming that our long-time healthcare vision of a fully automated supply chain is now within reach.

An important step in implementing GS1 EDI is testing the messages. They need to be checked to ensure they are conformant to the standard and to the requirements of the business partners; if they contain correct data, proper references, etc. While implementing companies can perform testing internally, as the number of the partners connected via EDI grows, it may be more efficient to outsource. Some GS1 MOs may offer such testing services.

The following levels should be checked:

  • Communication compliance: Does the communication software conform to GS1 recommendations, such as AS2 profiles?
  • Technical compliance: Does the tested EDI file conform with the base XML or UN/EDIFACT specifications (also referred to as syntax compliance)?
  • GS1 EDI compliance: Is the messaging being implemented standards compliant?
  • Global guideline compliance: Is the messaging being implemented global guideline compliant?
  • Local guideline compliance: Is the messaging being implemented local guideline compliant?
  • Choreography compliance: Are the messages exchanged in the right order? Apart from each message being tested, validation can be set-up to test the interdependence of exchanged messages.

The result of the validation can be a compliance report or a certificate. A testing service can have various scope and financial models. Some MOs offer specialised tools owned by the MO or outsourced to an external IT company. The offer ranges from simple file testing to full-blown certification programmes.  Some EDI software providers offer on-line services that can be made available by MOs to their users. Some local GDSN data pools also offer testing services, but this is often limited to the messages used in GDSN.

To learn more about EDI and become a CEDIAP® (Certified EDI Academy Professional), please visit our course schedule page.

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