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Alexandra Oettler

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Have we passed ‘peak PDF’?

How do we gain insight into how users’ views of documents are shifting? Google Trends is an increasingly interesting source of high-level marketplace data. By aggregating Google’s search data over time, reporting a term’s popularity as compared with all other searches.

Participating in the PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit

The PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit’s objective is to establish a broad-based understanding of how PDF files should be tagged for accessibilty. It’s an opportunity to focus on establishing a common set of examples of accessible PDF content, and identify best-practice when tagging difficult cases.

Members supporting PDF features!

The typical adoption curve for PDF technologies until approximately 2007 tended to track with that of the original PDF developer. Since then the marketplace has shifted; it’s no longer clear that Adobe drivesPDF feature support worldwide. Accordingly, we are happy to report that adoption of PDF 2.0 continues apace, with new vendors announcing their support every month.

Modernizing PDF Techniques for Accessibility

The PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit will identify best-practices in tagging various cases in PDF documents. Questions to be addressed will likely include: the legal ways to tag a nested list, the correct way to caption multiple images, the appropriate way to organize content within headings.

Refried PDF

My hospital emailed me a medical records release form as a PDF. They told me to print it, fill it, sign it, scan it and return it to the medical records department, in that order. In 2018? To get the form via email (i.e., electronically), yet be asked to print it? Did the last 20 years just… not mean anything! So I thought I’d be clever. I’d fill it first, THEN print it. Or better yet, never print it, but sign it anyhow, and return it along with a note making the case for improving their workflow. The story continues…

PDF Association Newsletter: Issue 25


    •  PDF/A at the medical services centre of Greifswald University Medical Centre
    •  DMI

Christoph Schmelter, DMI

Dear readers,

DMI has been a member of the PDF/A Competence Center since the beginning of this year. This long-term archiving service provider is active in the field of health care.

Patient data is highly sensitive and plays a prominent role in medicare. Legislative authorities demand long retention periods coupled with the highest level of protection possible.

For the past 45 years, DMI has continually updated their technology to match modern advancements. The development has gone from paper to microfilm and now to digital long-term archiving with electronic signatures. Combining patient information originating in paper format with electronically created patient data, and consolidating them in an audit-compliant archive, offers high availability, optimized processes and important clinical and administrative added value. DMI has now complemented this service through the inclusion of PDF/A format in accordance with the ISO standard.

This uniform, standardized, analyzable and long-term stabile data format for electronic documents is independent of software applications and manufacturers. The advantages of PDF/A, in addition to interoperability, include the fact that a file contains all of the information necessary to reconstruct itself. The white paper “PDF/A in Health Care” released at conhIT 2012 by the PDF/A Competence Center, describes in detail possible applications. DMI has already successfully implemented additional functionality in projects, for example qualified signatures embedded in PDF/A files.

Being a member of the PDF/A Competence Center enables DMI to take part in the future development of the PDF/A format and to react quickly to new requirements. This gives medical facilities a guarantee that they will always be provided with the most current technological advances available.

Christoph Schmelter, Managing Director, DMI GmbH & Co. KG


PDF/A at the medical services centre of Greifswald University Medical Centre

Greifswald University Medical Centre traces its roots back to the 17th of October, 1456, when the university and its faculty of medicine were founded. Nowadays, Greifswald University Medical Centre provides a wide range of services and encom- passes 21 clinics/polyclinics, 19 institutions and a number of government organiza- tions. These facilities are currently spread across the city, but will be centralised in a single location by 2014. This restructuring will allow Greifswald University Medical Centre to increase its efficiency and level of innovation and become the most mod- ern medical institution in Germany.

Greifswald University Medical Centre runs a number of medical services centres. They provide treatment in a variety of areas, including psychiatric and neurological care.

The medical services centres have decided to join the university hospital in moving from paper-based patient records to electronic, audit-proof archives. Due to the uni- versity hospital’s positive experience of using the service provider DMI to help ar- chive its patient records, the partnership was extended to the medical services cen- tre in 2011.

The decision was made to archive the records in PDF/A format. As part of the proc- ess, the one-stop archiving services provider DMI embeds a signature and a times- tamp in the PDF/A. This turns the medical services centre’s patient records into re- producible, signed and self-contained archived material.

Dr. Frank Adler, who heads up the project in Greifswald, had this to say about the benefits of this solution: „DMI’s archiving services and the PDF/A file format have given us the space and opportunities we need to make our processes more efficient. Our paper archive had grown so big that we were about to relocate it for the second time. Now that we’ve switched to electronic archiving with DMI, we won’t have any more space issues. PDF/A is a future-oriented archiving format which provides a self-contained record of all the information we need. Better yet, we will still be able to open them with everyday software 30 years down the road.”



DMI is the leading provider of patient file/data archiving services. DMI has provided efficient solutions for archiving documents in line with auditing regulations since 1966. DMI is committed to being responsible for archiving patient data, so its proc- esses for preparing and conducting reorganisations of archives are guaranteed to be successful. Investing in modern, cutting edge technology makes sense. DMI’s exper- tise lies in value and potential analysis, archive reorganization, archiving systems, scanning services, document archiving and long-term digital archiving in compliance with auditing regulations. Over 650 customers, among them more than 500 hospi- tals, have put their trust in DMI’s many years of experience. DMI processes around 1,000,000 document pages every day. www.dmi.de


August 31, 2012: PDF/A Training Class in Norway

PDF Association member Palografen will host a PDF/A seminar at August 31st in Bergen, Norway. More informations…

September 5, 2012: Webinar: PDF/A in Health Care

The webinar is aimed at solution providers in the health care sector, such as NHS solutions vendors and users interested in health care. As an attendee, you will gain a good overview of PDF/A and can assess where PDF/A can provide advantages in your products and applications. (4 PM to 5 PM CET)

Registration: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/502607058

November 12–16, 2012 : 15th Annual Accessing Higher Ground

Duff Johnson to speak at the AHG Accessible Media, Web and Technology Conference 2012 on November 14, 2012, about the new PDF/UA standard.  More informations…


About PDF Association

The association is geared towards developers of PDF solutions; companies that work with PDF in document management systems (DMS) and electronic content management (ECM), interested individuals, and users who want to implement PDF technology in their organizations. Although the Association’s members were predominantly from German speaking countries, the PDF Association now boasts members from over 20 countries world-wide.


Association for Digital Document Standards e.V.
PDF Association
Thomas Zellmann
Neue Kantstr. 14
D-14057 Berlin

Phone: +49 30 39 40 50-0
Fax: +49 30 39 40 50-99




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Categories: Healthcare, PDF/A