Manufacturers meet to further online ordering

Sunday, May 11, 2003

May 12, 2003

LAS VEGAS - The chances that HME providers will be able to place orders from inside their business software systems brightened somewhat last week as the nation’s leading manufacturers of home medical equipment met here to discuss standardization issues.

The meeting was the first concerted effort in three years to work the kinks out of the once ballyhooed cyberline, which would link an HME’s legacy software system to a manufacturer’s order intake system. If manufacturers can agree to certain standards - i.e. common category names, standard units of measure, JPEG or GIF - then HME providers may begin to use the Internet to place orders without having to re-do the data entry that’s required today.

“If we could ever get to the point where everyone called the same thing the same thing, it would be enormously helpful from a technology perspective,” said Mark Kulik, senior vice president of sales and marketing at CareCentric.

BConnected, a Colorado software vendor that currently facilitates the purchase ordering between Rotech and its major vendors, hosted the May 7 meeting that included representatives from Invacare, Pride Mobility Products, ResMed, Respironics and Sunrise Medical. These same vendors tried to find common ground in 2000, when the cyberline was last in vogue, but the initiative fell apart.

For more, see the June issue of HME News.