What is Electronic Data Interchange?
Electronic Data Interchange is used by many industries to electronically exchange data such as purchase orders and confirmations between two parties. This electronic transmission is performed in accordance with ANSI X12 standards. The X12 record uses field codes such as BT for "Bill to", to specify the format of the data being sent. ANSI (American National Standards Institute) maintains the standard structure of the EDI process so that subscribing organizations can be sure that they are communicating in an effective and consistent way. The Health Industry Business Communications Council (HIBCC) influences many of the ANSI standards for the health industry.
AMS has developed its own method of EDI called Direct Connect. Direct Connect is exactly what its name implies -- a direct connection from the hospital's MaXM system to the vendor. Once the data is logged for Direct Connect, the compile process allows the system to convert that data into the X12 format required for EDI transmission. The direct connection is initiated by a modem attached to the hospital's main CPU (i.e., DEC VAX, IBM RISC, DG AViiON) where the MaXM software is installed. Any terminal can then access the modem, via the Direct Connect EDI module, to transmit and/or receive data using a direct link to the supported vendor.
Advantages of Direct Connect
Existing third-party software packages such as QuikLink have developed EDI. In order to use any of these software packages in MaXM, there is a need for a PC with a dedicated line, SmarTerm for DOS, and MicroTrol software. This type of EDI is a two-step process. The first step would be to download the compiled PO batch(es) into a DOS file on the PC via the SmarTerm communications software and MicroTrol. The second step would be to invoke the third-party software package to perform the actual transmission of the file(s) to the vendor.
A major advantage of Direct Connect EDI is the capability of transmitting to the vendor directly from any terminal linked to the MaXM system, thereby eliminating the need for a dedicated PC and software. The reliability of the data is also increased because of the direct transmission. As a result, Direct Connect proves to be a tremendous time saver in the EDI process.
Direct Connect EDI Transaction Sets:
850 Purchase Order(s)/855 Confirmation(s)
Before EDI, the process of placing an order with a vendor and receiving confirmation regarding the price and availability of items was both labor-intensive and slow. Thus, the 850 and 855 transaction sets were created to minimize these problems. The 850 represents an electronic purchase order, which duplicates the functionality of a paper purchase order. The 855 returns acknowledgment and discrepancy information regarding the purchase order. The user has the option of printing the complete confirmation report or just the exceptions. The turnaround time for the 855 may vary among vendors. Therefore, MaXM provides two options for retrieving confirmation(s): (1) in a separate session where no batches are transmitted and (2) in the same session, upon completion of the batch transmission.
832 Price/Sales Catalog
The 832 allows the hospital to electronically receive catalog information from the vendor. This functionality enables the hospital to maintain their purchase catalog to be more in sync with that of the vendor's. The MaXM system compares the file received from the vendor with the information in the hospital's purchase catalog. A printed report tells the hospital of changes in price, package quantity and vendor catalog numbers. It will also include the hospital's item number if the vendor has it available. Beginning in Release 95, the capability of automatically or selectively updating the hospital's purchase catalog exists.
810 Electronic Invoicing
The 810 allows the hospital to electronically receive their invoices from the vendor. Users have the option to display, print and/or file the invoice(s). When the option to file is selected, the invoice will file in the same manner as if it had been entered manually. Any invoice that is outside the variance limits set in MaXM will be filed in suspense. When the invoice is filed, a summary log report of filed invoices and/or errors will print.
856 Advanced Ship Notice (ASN)
The 856 enables the user to receive, in essence, an electronic packing slip for items that have not been physically received by the hospital. It allows the user to review quantities being shipped by the vendor, and also gives the option to file the receiver automatically. A summary log of filed receivers and/or errors will print upon filing. The use of the ASN will facilitate invoice matching significantly because the vendor's invoice (paper or electronic) will correspond with the ASN.
820 Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
The 820 enables the electronic transfer of payment information from the MaXM system to the bank and, subsequently, to the vendor. This process is accomplished by compiling payment data from the vouchers created on the system and transmitting that data for payment, rather than printing and mailing the actual checks. The data file created can be transmitted to the hospital's Cash Management System, or directly to the bank via EDI. Since Release 95 allows for multiple bank accounts within a payment cycle, users will be able to designate one or more bank accounts to be eligible for the electronic transferring of funds.
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