NetEDI’s journey with PEPPOL: Creating an Interoperable future for the NHS
In today’s blog, Luther Wangermann, our Sales Manager, explains our PEPPOL journey so far and the impact we’ve had on the Department of Health’s goal to connect the whole supply chain and create an interoperable future for the NHS.
PEPPOL is a standard of electronic messaging and it is also the network by which those messages are sent. Specific types of messages sent within the NHS trading community, must be sent electronically and automatically over the PEPPOL network. This will enable NHS Trusts to have one single link to the outside world through which they can work with their current and future suppliers.
In this blog, we’ll learn where we started with PEPPOL, how we’re enabling NHS Trusts and suppliers to be connected on one interoperable network and how we’re positioned to be world-leaders in this ground-breaking messaging standard.
Recognising the opportunity
We first became aware of PEPPOL (Pan European Public Procurement Online) in 2013, when one of our customers wanted to trade with an NHS Trust and they started to mention their new E-procurement strategy – which was the original term for the Scan4Safety campaign. It became clear that this was a very important development in the healthcare sector and would open that market up to businesses who were willing to invest.
At NetEDI, we’ve always prided ourselves on being ahead of the curve – innovation is one of our core values – so we set to work on learning how we could best serve our customers in the healthcare sector and become market leaders in PEPPOL.
Preparing our PEPPOL solution
We knew we had the capability to translate a PEPPOL message which meant that the next step was registering with OpenPEPPOL, the organisation that enables businesses to communicate electronically with any European government institution in the procurement process.
Once we were registered, we then set our sights on becoming our own Access Point. Some PEPPOL providers choose to use another company as the actual Access Point to the network, but we knew we wanted to minimise the number of possible failure points for our customers, so becoming an accredited Access Point was a clear priority for the business.
It was around this time that we also worked on gaining our Cyber Essentials certification. Cyber Essentials is a Government backed and industry supported scheme that helps businesses protect themselves against security threats online and we knew that it would help us provide the best possible online security for our customers.
Later, we also gained the gold standard in cyber security, by earning the Cyber Essentials Plus Certification, which meant we still had the full Cyber Essentials Certificate, but we also underwent an additional internal scan and on-site assessment.
All this work contributed towards us being able to offer a world-class, secure and reliable PEPPOL solution for our customers in the healthcare sector.
Our work with NHS Supply Chain
In 2017, we put in a successful bid to become the PEPPOL Access Point for NHS Supply – the organisation responsible for the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare items to all NHS Trusts.
Since then we’ve been working closely with NHS Supply Chain, helping them implement PEPPOL throughout their supplier network, a process that has required us to work with 23 other Access Points. So far, we have successfully onboarded many suppliers and over 200 of them have chosen NetEDI to provide them with their PEPPOL solution, making us the foremost PEPPOL solution provider in the UK.
Cegedim acquisition provides a new opportunity
NetEDI was recently acquired by Cegedim, a European leader in process digitalisation and digitised data flows. We can now incorporate our offerings into their e-business comprehensive solutions for digitizing all types of documents.
The Cegedim acquisition puts NetEDI in the position to comfortably offer PEPPOL from a global perspective. PEPPOL will be moving to many different countries around the world and we will be at the forefront of that process which is exactly where we want to be.
The benefits of an interoperable NHS
The Department of Health want to create a future for the NHS that is secure, standardised, cost-effective and truly interoperable. We’re very proud to be playing an important part in the Scan4Safety campaign and contributing to increased clinical productivity, the efficiency of the supply chain and improved patient care.
Making sure that all Trusts and suppliers are connected to the network will result in real-world benefits for the NHS and the millions of patients that use the service each year.
If you’re a supplier to the NHS and you’ve yet to get connected to the PEPPOL network, feel free to get in touch with a member of the NetEDI team today using the options above.
Want to know more about our award-winning PEPPOL solutions? Get in touch with a member of our team today.
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