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French Healthcare Goes Digital with PEPPOL e-Catalogues

by Carmen Ciciriello created on Feb 14, 2013 03:40 PM
B.Braun Medical, CHU Hospital of Montpellier and CARTENA report a successful pilot on the post-award healthcare e-Catalogue in conformity with the PEPPOL specifications, aiming at interoperability in the healthcare industry.

The CHU hospital of Montpellier and B. Braun Medical successfully started a PEPPOL pilot on the 14th of December 2012 based on the exchange of electronic catalogues and updates on medical device categories of items. B.Braun Medical and the CHU Hospital of Montpellier have exchanged e-Procurement data catalogues via the PEPPOL Network with the support of CARTENA, an e-Procurement specialist in the healthcare industry.

The solution was designed and developed as part of the PEPPOL project (Pan European Public Procurement On-Line), the EU co-funded public procurement initiative aimed at expanding open standards with greater interoperability. The development of the pilot was launched following the Connection to PEPPOL ceremony one year ago and while the PEPPOL project ended on August 31st, 2012, the PEPPOL components are being maintained by the OpenPEPPOL Association.

PEPPOL components include, among others, a secure, standards-based European transport infrastructure reachable through access points, and standardised electronic document formats for e-Procurement.  The solution complies with PEPPOL Business Interoperability Specifications (BIS) that incorporate the CEN/BII e-Catalogue profiles and UBL syntax binding. This CEN/BII 1a catalogue is the format recommended for the European public sector with the objective to ensure interoperability between European service providers.

This first PEPPOL healthcare pilot was led by the French University Hospital of Montpellier (member of GCS Uni.HA buying Group and head of e-Procurement) and B. Braun Medical, a global leading company for medical devices, implants and pharmaceutical specialties in the fields of surgery, infusion therapy, intensive care and anaesthesia which provides a catalogue with over 40 000 references. The data management and infrastructure was provided by CARTENA, a PEPPOL service provider focusing on healthcare data.

In addition to providing a PEPPOL access point service, CARTENA included in its solution, a Master Data Management (MDM) system to ensure conformance to the standard formats for data and messages. The MDM functionality permitted the establishment of business rules to control formats, accuracy and uniqueness of data, which, in addition, provides better control over its own data to the manufacturer in order to mitigate the risk of populating incorrect information in a field were data is highly regulated.

A key part of the initiative included the integration of GS1* standards within the PEPPOL scope. CARTENA implemented the GS1® data structure in its core data model to make the PEPPOL pilot a success.

This PEPPOL e-Catalogue solution allows any provider or manufacturer to send detailed information on product specifications – e.g. chemical content, parcel, packaging etc. It also allows the update of any type of information into the ERP system of the hospital. Every time an update is made on the supplier’s side, the information can be updated and possibly dispatched to all purchasers. Since the data can be directly imported from the e-Catalogue, a key objective is to offer the comprehensive dematerialization of workflow, avoiding manual re-typing or re-sizing of orders.

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*GS1 is the worldwide non-profit organization developing and deploying standards for data and messages between suppliers and customers. In addition to the move towards GS1® barcoding structures on drugs in many countries, GS1® based standard has been chosen by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority for medical devices: the UDI identification, which requires suppliers to use unambiguous code numbers to identify goods and services and barcodes (linear, 2D or RFID) to enable automated processing of the supply chain. This regulation will also require suppliers to send their product characteristics in a standard format in a database to manage traceability and products recalls.

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