The European e-invoicing project EDIHOSP has achieved its goal of successfully implementing the European e-billing standard in hospitals in Portugal and Hungary. Coordinated by EDICOM and co-funded by the European Commission through the CEF Telecom e-Invoicing 2018 tender managed by the Executive Agency for Innovation and Networks (INEA), participating bodies include the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), ASSECO Central Europe, the SPMS Agency, the National Health Service of the Portuguese Ministry of Health and the Hungarian and Portuguese hospitals involved.
EDICOM has equipped the hospitals with the relevant SaaS (Software as a Service) EDI services for integration of the messages, which means being able to receive and process electronic invoices in accordance with the requirements set out in the European Directive 2014/55/EU (e-Invoicing Directive). As a result, the consortium hospitals have enhanced cross-border interoperability, as well as the standardization of procurement processes in Europe.
Digitalization of processes
Moreover, we have also accompanied the hospitals in the process of incorporating suppliers via EDI, i.e., in the step towards the digitalization of their processes. In this sense, Nacho Vañó, International Project Manager and in charge of the project on the EDICOM side, explains that it has been a challenge “not only to implement EDI functionality in hospitals, but also to involve teams that are used to managing these processes in the old way.” He also adds as a challenge “the coexistence of this European invoicing project with the similarly emerging legislation on e-invoicing with the Public Administrations in these countries (Hungary and Portugal).”
The EDICOM Project Implementation Area has been involved in the development of the project, in direct contact with the hospitals. Likewise, our R&D team is involved in coordinating the communications tests using the AS4 protocol.
To organize the team, mainly the ETM methodology has been used. This is EDICOM’s own methodology, based on the SCRUM agile work system and PMP (PMI standard), which ensures immediacy and speed of response to provide solutions to the constant changes in a project. Likewise, language skills have been essential, since English has been the vehicular language throughout the project.
The work of the UPV
For its part, the UPV has focused on monitoring the work to raise awareness of the need to create a common space for the exchange of electronic invoices, encoded under common European standards, to promote interoperability between healthcare centers.
Teresa Magal is a member of the Technology Research Center and a lecturer at the School of Design Engineering (ETSID-UPV). Magal notes that “EDIHOSP will enable us, for example, to improve and speed up the internal management of the purchase of healthcare material and medicines at European level, the issuance of electronic invoices related to priority healthcare services at Community level or the exchange of digitalized tax information between European countries without the use of paper.”