Healthcare & Life Sciences Axway B2B Integration

How to create a resilient digital healthcare supply chain

There are many variables to manage in the digital healthcare supply chain. Yet, healthcare organizations can’t stop while they’re ahead. They have to continue to innovate as technology advances and new disruptions emerge.

Resiliency is the name of the game. Beyond efficiency, manufacturers, dispensers, distributors, and pharmacies must consider compliance and security. That way, they can deliver drugs and medical devices safely and on time.

The shift toward a more resilient digital healthcare supply chain starts with interconnectivity.

Unifying traditional processes with modern integration flows

Electronic data interchange (EDI) is well-established in healthcare. All signs point to its continued growth. Case in point: Between 2022 and 2030, experts anticipate the healthcare EDI market to grow at a CAGR of nearly 10%.

While it’s clear that EDI flows are here to stay, they’re often married to APIs. Bringing together EDI and APIs enables a more modern communication process. APIs are faster, more secure, and more robust. These modern interfaces help streamline configurations and partner onboarding.

With EDI, you might have several legacy systems that need to be managed by EDI experts. APIs can help cut down on the number of systems needed. A more centralized system supports higher volumes of data transfer and advances security. And the people using APIs don’t have to be experts.

Accelerators for growth of the digital healthcare supply chain

While there is incentive for modernizing the healthcare supply chain, many organizations still operate by email. They’re caught up in email chains with partners to relay serial codes and other important information.

However, new laws are prompting change. With the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) for tracking pharmaceuticals, data can no longer be sent via email. EDI files aren’t a sufficient option either, as more data must be sent. All the while, a timing aspect of the law demands quick turnarounds.

So, where should you start modernizing and securing your environment? As highlighted in a recent webinar, it’s about more than having more; it’s about investing in modern interfaces so you can adapt:



In recent years, we’ve started to see government agencies use APIs to empower the digital healthcare supply chain. For instance, the DEA has published a controlled substance ordering system. They use several APIs and certificates to secure that part of the supply chain.

At the same time, you’ve got the FDA with plans to roll out a next-generation portal. This portal will include a host of new API integrations to upload data to the FDA. It could be a 4911 for pharmaceuticals or the registration of a medical device.

Real-world example: Cencora’s move to a unified EDI/API system

When a large organization has hundreds of thousands of trading partners, they need to be able to manage that volume. For Cencora (formerly AmerisourceBergen), a leading solution distributor of pharmaceuticals, that meant unifying their EDI operations and leveraging the power of APIs.

Let’s set the scene: Cencora exchanges over 800,000 EDI files and messages daily, with an estimated $140 billion in revenue through its EDI system. Any digital healthcare supply chain disruptions can lead to millions of dollars in lost revenue.

When Cencora’s business units relied on their own EDI systems and processes, it became harder to ensure high availability. And as the business continued to grow, managing these disparate systems became more difficult and costly.

That prompted Cencora to bring over 90% of its EDI operations to one modern platform: Axway B2Bi. While decommissioning legacy systems and improving operational efficiencies, the pharmaceutical distributor was able to automate many of their workflows through the use of APIs.

By using APIs to manage the onboarding of trading partners, Cencora saved thousands of hours alone.

As part of their process, Cencora must also validate digital certificates with the DEA for compliance reasons. They’ve been able to automate that step as well using APIs.

Read more about the Cencora success story here.

Prepare your digital healthcare supply chain for what’s next

As the digital world keeps evolving, healthcare organizations need to be able to react fast. That’s where interconnectivity becomes essential. By pairing traditional processes with modern integration workflows, organizations can balance the need for increased security with the demand for high availability.

To learn more about the value of technology in the healthcare supply chain and how it supports your consumers and patients alike, tune into this webinar.

Watch the webinar on how technology can ensure the well-being of your consumers and patients.

Key Takeaways

  • Resiliency is critical in the digital healthcare supply chain.
  • The marrying of EDI and APIs supports a faster, more secure, and more robust infrastructure.
  • New laws and government initiatives are increasing the need for more modern healthcare communications.
  • Healthcare organizations like Cencora use Axway B2B integration solutions to streamline processes and enhance security.