Implementing “Perfect Order” at Mercy Health via EDI and GS1 Standards
When ROi/Mercy and BD first began working to establish the perfect order, both companies worked to ensure that every BD product had an established GTIN for every item in Mercy’s item master at each unit of measure. Today, ROi/Mercy leverages these GTINs when ordering, picking and shipping BD products throughout Mercy. Where applicable, Mercy also uses GTIN data to scan products at the point of care and to store product usage information in the patient’s electronic health record (EHR) and registries.
BD and ROi/Mercy also use GS1 standards in their EDI transactions for the instant exchange of business transactions for improved efficiencies and accuracy throughout the order-to-cash process. By transitioning from manual data entry to automated, EDI driven processes, both trading partners have realised a wealth of benefits such as significantly improved accuracy, reduced costs, increased product availability and improved productivity.
BD and ROi/Mercy began transacting via EDI long before they began using GS1 data standards. The use of GLNs and GTINs in EDI transactions has created further efficiencies and enabled the two trading partners to speak the same business language.
Both have the exact understanding of the data represented by a specific GLN or GTIN. The value of EDI is evident based on its growing use by companies worldwide. In its 2015 EDI implementation survey, GS1 found the implementation of GS1 EDI standards—GS1 EANCOM® and GS1 XML—by responding member companies has continued to show steady growth for the past 10 years.
Gaining accuracy and visibility of orders
When placing an order, ROi/Mercy uses the GTINs on purchase orders (POs), which takes the guesswork out of ordering the right products. “GS1 standards provide a common language for our EDI transactions, directly impacting data quality,” says Mentel. “The GTINs associated with BD products in our materials management information system (MMIS) match the data in BD’s ERP system. We no longer confuse levels of packaging or have errors due to the use of internal product numbers.
Each BD product’s GTIN with lot/batch and expiry data is encoded using GS1 barcodes, which is printed on the product’s package label in BD factories. As orders are assembled for shipping, the BD distribution centre uses the GS1 Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) to identify a single logistic unit and its individual contents. A Global Shipment Identification Number (GSIN) is also used to quickly identify the shipment and access the groups of logistic units that are included. In application, the pallet is coded with an SSCC license plate label which provides a common means to identify pallets across partner’s systems and a link to their contents using the product GTINs. The pallets are then shipped, identified with the Global Shipment Identification Number that can be encoded to allow for instantaneous access to the shipment info. With GS1 standards for products, logistic units, shipments and EDI communication, the trading partners have the needed foundation for seamless and error-free transactions.
BD is also experimenting with publishing and managing their product data in the GS1 Global Data Synchronisation Network™ (GDSN®). “We currently use several different methods to share product data with ROi/Mercy and other customers. We are now experimenting with GDSN to provide product data in a trusted and secure way for any product a hospital consumes,” says Black. As a shipped order travels from a BD factory to its distribution centre, it then moves on to the ROi/Mercy distribution centre and eventually gets distributed throughout Mercy. Through this process, ASNs containing the GTINs and GLNs are used to verify the receipt and accuracy of the order, providing visibility of the shipment and its products, each step of the way.
Upon receipt, the ROi/Mercy distribution centre scans the shipping label to verify receipt of products included in the shipment and record the product information in its inventory system. From there the product is distributed to the facility where the GTIN is scanned to the shelf and made ready for consumption. As a result, quality control processes are improved through this workflow as ROi/Mercy can use the manufacturer provided production data for managing inventory. With immediate access to accurate information, this speeds both the BD and ROi/Mercy supply chain processes and helps ensure overall accuracy of orders.
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