Electronic commerce (e-Commerce) promises to be a major factor in enabling the health industry to reduce its operating costs, obtain accurate and timely information for decision making, improve overall effectiveness of business processes and offer a better administrative service to healthcare consumers.

E-Commerce is the electronic transfer of commercial or financial information for the purposes of trade and administration and can be roughly categorized into two groups:
business-to-business e-Commerce or business-to-consumer e-Commerce transactions.

The focus of this Standard is upon business-to-business e-Commerce.

Business-to-business e-Commerce transactions can take several forms, the most common

(a) Electronic data interchange (EDI) — structured messages designed to be exchanged between two computer applications using syntax agreed by the trading parties.

(b) Web-based transactions—structured web pages designed to provide a medium for the exchange of information between a user and a computer application (such as an Internet-based hospital booking system or an online catalogue).

The Joint Committee in conjunction with Standards Australia have released AS 4937 – 2002, Electronic messages for exchange of claims and related information.