The New GDSN Major Release Provides Trading Partners Ability to Better Manage Included Attributes

In May of 2016 it is planned that GS1 Global will roll out the latest version of the GDSN communications protocol and data set by moving to the application of the major update with the acronym MR3.

The GDSN Community as a whole determined that the list of attributes associated with even the most basic of products had grown to be almost unmanageable by both data providers and data recipients. MR3 now provides for a very short list of mandatory core attributes but allows for individual trading partners to set the exact list of attributes that they will use and exchange.  As one head of a major Canadian Healthcare Provider group stated in a presentation to industry, “Why do I want to receive hundreds of attributes when I can only handle fewer than 20 in my ERP application?” MR3 now addresses this very issue.

The GDSN certified data pools around the globe have adjusted their interchange protocols in order to handle this new, very flexible but highly accurate method of ensuring that trading partners are exchanging exactly what they need and only what they need.

Commport has been MR3 ready for several months. see more on this here


Quebec’s Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) Launches GDSN Initiative

As the entire Canadian Healthcare community moves towards a completely digital supply chain, supported by the use of the GS1 GDSN for clean, accurate and timely data, Quebec joins the movement by requesting GDSN product data from vendors.

Having determined earlier that a very high percentage of purchase orders created and released by Quebec Healthcare Providers contained errors that were the result of poor quality Item Masters, and that processing these orders added significant costs to hospital ‘back offices’ the decision has been made to use the GDSN to help clean and maintain accuracy of the item masters across the province.

Commport is working very closely with the MSSS to ensure that all vendors are introduced to the GDSN program and can make their product data available for the Quebec Healthcare community.


Commport Aligns With Reed Tech to Provide Medical Device Manufacturers an Option for FDA GUDID Submissions

AURORA, ONTARIO, APRIL 8, 2015 — Commport Communications International, Inc. (Commport), a leader in the healthcare solutions marketplace, announced today that it has entered into a strategic marketing alliance with Reed Technology and Information Services Inc. (Reed Tech), a leader in regulatory data management, preparation and submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to provide a compliant solution for medical device manufacturers to make required submissions to the FDA Global Unique Device Identification Database (GUDID). With this alliance, Reed Tech will be able to offer a direct conduit to GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) solutions through Commport, the oldest provider of GDSN-certified data pool services in North America.

Medical device manufacturers are increasingly being required by retailers, such as hospitals and healthcare networks, to “synchronize” product data through the GS1 GDSN rather than through the use of inefficient channels like paper catalogs or online portals. At the same time, device manufacturers that market their products within the U.S. must also submit product information to the FDA-administered GUDID database. The alliance between Commport and Reed Tech can help device manufacturers leverage product data previously captured through either the GDSN or the GUDID submission process to simultaneously comply with regulatory mandates and compete in the global marketplace.

“With a very high percentage of medical device products having a global distribution, regional regulatory compliance is extremely important,” stated David Ralph, President and CEO of Commport. “The GDSN provides a single, standardized methodology to govern the exchange of product information between buyers and suppliers for consistency in both local markets and internationally. As a GDSN-certified data pool, the ability to present a single ‘pipe’ to Reed Tech for use in the FDA GUDID submission process will be a valuable option for our clients.”

The GUDID database, soon to be made publicly accessible, is designed to help the FDA identify product defects more quickly, facilitate product recalls and ultimately improve patient safety. Reed Tech, the leading service provider of structured product labeling (SPL) solutions, offers lightweight and cost-effective data collection, validation, medical-device SPL preparation and FDA submission services to the GUDID.

“Through this alliance with Commport, we can build on our ability to provide medical device customers a regulatory solution and to share regulatory data with their trading partners via the GDSN,” stated Ben McGinty, Senior Director, Business Development – Life Sciences at Reed Tech. “This alliance will permit our solution to efficiently process regulatory and commercial product data.
About Reed Tech
Reed Tech is the provider of best-in-class information-based solutions and services to meet the broad needs of the global Intellectual Property market as well as key regulatory needs of the Life Sciences industry. Our customers include the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, IP-driven companies, law firms, and a wide range of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. The corporate culture is driven by a commitment to excellence, innovation, and a strong dedication to its customers, employees and community. Reed Tech has worked in the patent arena since 1970 and has electronically captured and prepared for publication well over half of all U.S. patents ever granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Reed Tech is a LexisNexis company.
About LexisNexis Legal & Professional:
LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of content and technology solutions that enable professionals in legal, corporate, tax, government, academic and non-profit organizations to make informed decisions and achieve better business outcomes. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. Today, LexisNexis Legal & Professional harnesses leading-edge technology and world-class content to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organizations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 175 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.
View official release here

Commport Expands Content Services and Technology Portfolio to Help Healthcare Providers Reduce Costs, Improve Efficiencies

AURORA, ONTARIO FEBRUARY 19, 2015: Commport Communications International, Inc. announced today that it has reached an agreement with Prodigo Solutions to become the licensed reseller of its Healthcare Marketplace and related technologies in Canada.

Prodigo Solutions is a healthcare transformation company that improves provider financial control and reduces supply chain costs through pay for performance solutions made possible by people, process and technology. Prodigo Solutions’ savings technology has been developed by healthcare supply chain experts to deliver tangible results across a continuum of care.

Commport, already a leader in the Healthcare solutions market by providing digital solutions to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, such as EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and GDSN services, is excited about adding additional content services to its portfolio.  The Prodigo Solutions Marketplace provides a cloud based entry point for Healthcare Providers, large and small, individual and groups to move quickly to the efficient frontier of supply chain management.

“A recent review of Healthcare Providers and their Suppliers across Canada showed that an unsustainable number of purchase orders from the Providers contain errors,” stated Dave Ralph, President of Commport, “errors are a costly issue for any organization to manage and in healthcare they also introduce potential patient safety risks.”

Suppliers across the country suggest that error rates are as high as 60% in some situations and   that the majority of the errors are related to inaccurate or out of date product information.  Errors of this nature in an automated system can inflate the order processing costs of both parties combined by as much as 10,000% due to the manual investigative follow up required.
One provincial Health group estimates overall savings of several hundreds of millions of dollars is possible by implementing a better procurement process, based upon high quality, accurate product data and other content controls such as the Prodigo Healthcare Marketplace.

“The GDSN is the only single true-source of product data and only the GDSN can provide global continuously cleansed data in a timely and accurate manner,” added Mr. Ralph, “with a very high percentage of Healthcare products coming from other countries, a global reach is extremely important.”  As a GDSN certified data pool, Commport is uniquely positioned to tie product information, buying processes and data carriage services into a single package for healthcare supply chain management in Canada.

“Helping healthcare providers identify and drive substantial supply chain cost savings is our sole focus at Prodigo Solutions. By partnering with Commport as a Reseller, we can extend our value proposition to Canadian providers,” said Michael DeLuca, executive vice president of Technology and Client Services at Prodigo Solutions, Inc. “We chose to expand our business with a partner like Commport because the company not only understands the Canadian healthcare system well, but also has deep relationships within the provincial health authorities and at the hospital level.”

Commport plans an aggressive promotional effort to ensure that all Healthcare Providers have an opportunity to investigate this leading edge technology.

About Prodigo
Prodigo Solutions is a healthcare supply chain focused company helping providers gain control of supply chain spend through contract compliance and automation.  Powered by a proven, cloud-based technology, Prodigo’s suite of solutions delivers cost savings to leading U.S. health systems, including 4 of the top 15 US News & World Report Honor Roll hospitals. For more information, visit

See the Press Release here

Canadian Healthcare Industry to Partner with GDSN Certified Datapool Solution Providers That Are Globally Aligned

Why ECCnet Will Not Work for Canadian Healthcare

Canada’s healthcare sector is booming. In fact, between 2001 and 2011 the Canadian pharmaceutical exports sector alone saw 250% growth to become a more than $4 billion dollar industry1. In order to support continued growth and as a member of the global community, Canada needs to ensure that businesses within its borders are using global technology and best practices within their supply chain operations.

Part of adopting global best practices, one supply chain challenge that healthcare organizations around the world have addressed and are currently working to implement, is the exchange and communication of product and item information between buyers and sellers within the supply chain.

In today’s high technology, automation based environment, businesses that lack the adoption of global best practices are at risk of having inaccurate information about the products or brands they use. In the consumer retail market, inaccurate product information can cause brand degradation leading to lost sales. Although the healthcare industry can experience the same brand implications, inaccurate product information can also have fatal consequences. When it comes to managing product information, the Canadian Healthcare industry needs to look at adopting global best practices as a part of its role as a global player – especially when there is so much risk associated with doing otherwise.

GS1’s is the leading global organization for the development of standards to support efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across sectors through their Global Standards Management Process (GSMP)2. The GS1 System Standards have defined the needed technology, symbology and data attributes required to support global best practices. Standards include automatic identification keys such as the Global Location Number (GLN) and Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), bar code symbology such as the UPC code as well as a global data communication standard and a supporting network known as the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN).

In order to ensure that local market requirements are included in the global standards, GS1 is an association that has engaged Member Organizations in over 100 countries. In Canada, our representative organization is known as GS1 Canada. However, when reviewing the service portfolio of GS1 Canada in the context of their global peers and despite there being a standardized solution available globally, GS1 Canada has continued to market and promote a local market solution known as ECCnet, which operates outside of the global network.

In the Canadian Healthcare sector, GS1 Canada is continually driving to convince Canadian Healthcare participants, providers and their suppliers, to step outside the GDSN and use their proprietary data repository (ECCnet). This direction is contrary to what the rest of the world is doing by adopting the GS1 GDSN as the single source of quality assured product data.

Given the international nature of the Canadian Healthcare industry, this approach simply doesn’t make sense. There are a number of reasons why, but analyses from different perspectives from cost- justification to patient safety show that logically, a local market ECCnet solution is just not needed, nor is it a strategic choice.

GS1 Canada maintains that ECCnet is GS1 standards compliant. What this means is that ECCnet requires the use of some GS1 System standards and leverages the identification schemes defined by the global standards, specifically GTINs and GLNs, as a part of its service delivery model. What isn’t covered is that service providers on the GDSN, called data pools, are subjected to a rigorous third party certification process and because ECCnet operates outside of the GDSN, they are not subjected to this process.

The real question is: why does GS1 Canada operate ECCnet outside the GDSN and its globally recognized standards certifications? What is further perplexing is that GS1 Canada also operates a GDSN certified data pool solution, however it is not made clear if or how the two solutions offered by GS1 Canada work together.

The answer, unfortunately, is that it doesn’t seem to be an issue of standards or best practices – but an issue of the business and financial model in place at GS1 Canada. Operating ECCnet outside the GDSN network allows GS1 Canada to assess all users value added service fees associated to their use of ECCnet. The business reality is that if GS1 Canada were to abandon their efforts related to the promotion and implementation of ECCnet in favour of their GDSN data pool, they would be forced to also abandon the revenues they generate from operating ECCnet. As a not-for-profit standards organization, revenue (loss or gain) should be of no concern.

What does this mean? As a part of the global network standards, the GDSN defines the basic business model of a GDSN certified data pool. In short, a brand owner entering data into their data pool is charged once for that service and those fees are paid to the data pool they have selected for the services they receive. Their data is then communicated to other data pools which provide the services to their data recipient and these organizations are responsible for paying fees for the services they receive from their selected data pool.

Still Confused? A simple analogy would be the phone system. You are responsible for the charges assessed by your phone company associated with having a phone service and you do not need to be using the same phone company as a caller in order to be connected. However, when you receive a long distance phone call, the long distance charges are borne by the caller. As the call receiver, you still need to pay for a basic telephone service in order to be able to receive the call. However you are not liable to the caller’s phone company for the charges associated with the long distance call, the caller is.

Data pool services in general, while addressing a business requirement, get very technical very quickly. The language used in marketing material for data pool services can be confusing and overwhelming for business users or at the other extreme, over simplified. The reality is that a manufacturer and a data recipient gain similar benefits in different ways from using data synchronization. The direction of the data flow and the nature of the services are major technical points that are easily obfuscated as a part of marketing the services. This generates confusion and is at risk of leading Canadian Healthcare businesses away from the use of global best practices.

Ultimately in order to ensure global success, the Canadian Healthcare industry needs to work alongside its global peers to adopt global best practices for data management. The world has established the GDSN as the foundation for optimal best practices. ECCnet, is a product registry that operates outside of GDSN standards and certification requirements. Instead, ECCnet utilizes separate legal requirements for customer use, and it is not subject to 3rd party audits or certification requirements that are mandated for GDSN compliant solutions. How can any Canadian business gain benefits using a solution that operates outside of global best practices? It can’t. This is why ECCnet will not work, especially for Canadian Healthcare.

1 Industry Canada – Size & Structure of Canadian Pharmaceutical Industry

2 GS1 Data Integrity & Global Standards Management Process

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Commport Enters Strategic Partnership With TELUS to Expand EDI and Healthcare IT Services in Canada

AURORA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – March 7, 2013) – Commport Communications International, Inc., a leader in B2B document and data management services within the Canadian marketplace, today announced a strategic partnership with TELUS, a leading national telecommunications company in Canada. Together, TELUS and Commport will market and promote the Assure Data Exchange (ADX) document management services as well as Global Data Synchronization (GDSN) in the Canadian healthcare industry through Commport’s CommCARE Health Solutions.

Under this arrangement, Commport will host, manage and support the TELUS ADX community including those members who participate in the CareNET set of EDI standards. ADX is a perfect fit for Commport Communications’ existing suite of electronic business document exchange services enabling service provider specialization while increasing the availability of standardized document exchange and data management services for the Canadian enterprise and healthcare sectors.

Commport’s strong Canadian presence in both Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and GS1 certified data synchronization were important factors in the formation of the partnership. “The transactional data that is managed by Commport is secure within Canadian facilities which are of particular importance when managing the document exchange within the Canadian healthcare and financial communities.” said Dave Ralph, CEO of Commport.

“Partnering with Commport is a natural fit for TELUS,” said Paul Lepage, President TELUS Health and Payment Solutions. “By providing innovative technologies and applications such as Commport’s EDI solution to move information securely and connect all stakeholders, TELUS Health empowers customers to manage and share more meaningful information, which ultimately, drives better health outcomes.”

A particularly exciting expansion opportunity is realized through this partnership by combining ADX, the technology backbone that supports the CareNET document exchange platform, and Commport’s CGS Datapool Services, a GS1 GDSN certified data pool supporting the international GS1 standards for product data management. CGS Datapool Services is strongly positioned to provide a single and secure validation touch point to both the ADX and CareNET communities by leveraging GS1 GDSN’s Global Standards. Through this new alliance, TELUS and Commport will work together to support the many GS1 Global Healthcare initiatives in an effort to decrease supply chain management costs through the adoption, exchange and use of accurate and standardized product information moving freely from global suppliers through the GDSN.

About Commport Communications International, inc.

Since 1985, Commport Communications International, inc. has been a leading provider in innovative technologies that leverages integration, collaboration and automation to deliver true value in business to business supply chains. Commport is a privately owned corporation and is the only provider in the world positioned to offer full service Value Added Network, EDI, translation and GDSN data synchronization services to both the demand side and the supply side of the trading partnership. To find out more about Commport Communications, please visit

About GS1 and GS1 Healthcare

GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit, international organization that develops global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply chains across industries. It engages a global community of trading partners, industry organizations and technology providers to understand their business needs and develops global standards in response to those needs. GS1 is driven by close to two million user companies, which execute more than six billion transactions.

The mission of GS1 Healthcare is to lead the Healthcare sector to the successful development and implementation of global standards by bringing together experts in Healthcare to enhance patient safety and supply chain efficiencies. GS1 Healthcare members include over 60 leading Healthcare organizations worldwide.

For more information on the GS1 Global Data Synchronisation Network

For more information about and to view the report, please visit GS1 Healthcare