Sunday, May 31, 2009

So, today - I am posting on my blog about my new found PDF love - PDF Healthcare.

PDF Healthcare is simply advice for developers and users of PDF in the health care industry.

There is a very active AIIM PDF Healthcare committee (AIIM is the Association for Information and Image Management) that has a goal to describe generally unknown attributes of the Portable Document Format (PDF) to facilitate the capture, exchange, preservation and protection of healthcare information.

PDF Healthcare allows health care providers and consumers and healthcare system and solution developers to develop a secure, electronic container that can store and transmit relevant health information, including but not limited to personal documents, handwritten clinical notes, laboratory test result reports, electronic forms, scanned images, photographs, digital X-rays, and ECGs, important for reliable exchange of the important data for maintaining and improving one's health.

Unlike PDF/X - which is an ANSI and ISO standard - PDF Healthcare is simply advice for developers and users of PDF in the health care industry.

I have been focused on PDF Forms.

I have created a page you can review with some samples and examples of a PDF Healthcare form that contains HL7 XML data.

you can --> click here <-- to visit my Adobe Buzzword document.

Hope you enjoy it !

Friday, May 29, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

And now you know exactly why I am so very interested in EHRs !

News from my son Eric and his wife Heather - 13 weeks! - due November 21st 2009.

Looks like I will need to invest in a walking cane and a ear trumpet as it looks like this old man will become a gram-paw !

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Since 1991, I have been involved with the development and marketing of tools for creating reliable digital documents for exchange in high end printing environments - PDF/X. PDF/X is popular for high quality, reliable exchange of newspapers, magazines, books, catalogs or any document that might be viewed or printed.

Recently I have become involved with a project for medical document exchange. Issues that revolve around EHR (Electronic Heath Record) are similar in that a reliable exchange normally requires metadata be exchanged, and often this exchange requires that the PDF exchange might require that PDF - or metadata - be in a form that is machine 'readable'.

Like PDF/X - PDF Healthcare files might need to be 'preflighted' - or automatically searched and verified that it is in the required condition before it is actually accepted - much more than checksum.

Examples of a PDF/X "plus" metadata are exchanges for book marketing materials (like ONIX) or exchanges between advertisers and magazine and newspaper publishers (AdSml)

Like JDF exchanges, where the associated JDF may come before, with, or after a PDF/x file is transmitted - one important part is JMF - Job Messaging Format - The language used to communicate between JDF agents and controllers.

Unlike PDF/X and JDF exchanges in publishing environments - With PDF Healthcare - there are additional privacy issues - anyone that works at a hospital and knows that if a medical record is sent to the wrong party, this is a serious HIPPA incident which may expose the party to lawsuits and sizable fines.

Most medical data today is transmitted via FAX - while many think this might be more secure than an email, well - not so much. Lets say we have a healthcare professional who is trying to fax some medical data.

When someone sends a FAX - they can see that it was sent from their end BUT...

1. They do not have a method to verify if the party that it was sent to was the right party (just imagine how many times you have dialed the wrong number)

2. They do not have a method to know if the fax actually printed (The FAX receiving end might out of paper, jam, low toner, etc...)

3. They do not know if anyone actually read it (no simple confirmation, like we have in email, we KNOW it was at least OPENED)

If we have a JDF / JMF like FAX system, the above could be possible of course.

In the world of secure PDF exchange, many developers use things like Adobe® LiveCycle® Rights Management ES - or products and technologies "like" that

Unlike PDF/X - where Adobe and print vertical vendors worked together to add things to the PDF specification - PDF Healthcare is NOT PDF/H

- PDF Heathcare is simply a best practices guide - here is a link to that;

If you are interested in viewing examples;

Here is a great blog that talks to many of the issues that revolve about digital data exchange in a medical environment

I think these particular post related to scanning paper and managing documents were very interesting.

I have experience with scanning paper documents to and then performing data-scrapes, as well as building workflows to convert a room full of documents into a searchable PDF archive.

In the case of the US Dept of State, they could not install any applications and needed a method that would work with Adobe Acrobat Reader. In this case, they wanted to search across a specific set of PDF files searching for specific key words - to speed things up (there were thousands of PDF files) this required a creation of an index - and then, teach them how to use Adobe Acrobat Readers Advanced Search options to search through an index to find the specific PDF files.

Stay tuned for more on this !