Evaluation Of Integration Technologies For The Healthcare Supply Chain

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Evaluation of integration technologies
In an attempt to provide a clear perspective of the available technological approaches that can be implemented in the healthcare supply chain, this section discusses the overall advantages and disadvantages of each integration technology, in particular, message- and object-oriented technologies.
Electronic data interchange
For many years, EDIFACT has been the most widely used protocol for EDI messages. Many healthcare organisations, as well as businesses in other industries, have used the EDI approach in order to exchange specific domain documents towards the elimination of labour-intensive tasks. Generally speaking, EDI facilitates the application-to-application electronic exchange of syntactically structured data-oriented documents. However, over the years it has become apparent that healthcare communication standards, such as EDI messages, fail to effectively establish requirements for the internal structure and architecture of communicating systems, requiring the information in any one system to be mapped twice: once into the message standard format by the contributing system, and once back into the internal representation of the receiving system (Dudeck, 1998).Although the EDI approach achieves integration at the data level, it does not provide process integration. Thus, it has been characterised by many as a complex technology owing to the daunting task of the mapping activity. Moreover, it does not provide high flexibility,
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