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Magazines & Newsletters / ASTM Standardization News


May/June 2008

PDF Healthcare Best Practices Guide Published

Healthcare worker at computerA new document will allow doctors, hospitals and patients to exchange healthcare information in a convenient and secure format. Best Practices Guide — PDF Healthcare (AIIM/ASTM BP-01-2008) describes a proposed, voluntary, industry-wide reference tool and guideline to describe the features and functionality of the Portable Document Format for the healthcare industry. The document has been jointly published by ASTM International and AIIM, the Enterprise Content Management Association. AIIM/ASTM BP-01-2008 is designed to facilitate a means by which healthcare information is captured, exchanged, preserved and protected so that participants within the healthcare system can use the well-known and trusted PDF specification as the electronic container of the information.

AIIM/ASTM BP-01-2008 was developed to promote and accelerate the adoption of a digital healthcare record model using XML-based standards. With the introduction of complex healthcare industry legal and regulatory requirements that directly impact the patient and healthcare provider, the adoption of the PDF Healthcare Best Practices Guide will be driven by the need for usability, portability, simplicity and availability of healthcare information.

“It has been a truly productive partnership between ASTM and AIIM in developing this new voluntary Best Practices Guide for the many uses of PDF in healthcare, and I am very proud of the work that has been done and grateful to all who participated in the effort,” says David Kibbe, chair of ASTM International Committee E31 on Healthcare Informatics. “We foresee any number of pilot projects and demonstrations occurring in 2008 and beyond that will prove the value of combining the document management assets of PDF with the structured content of both existing electronic document formats and the new XML-based standards.” Kibbe also noted that the ubiquity and ease-of-use of PDF will be beneficial in helping patients and consumers to access and use their own health records for continuity of care.

“Using PDF in healthcare will greatly improve the communications between patients and their providers and all the members of the healthcare chain as well as provide greater control of the patient information,” said John Mancini, president, AIIM. “This will ensure that the patient is an active participant in the exchange of critical healthcare information.”


Technical Information: David Kibbe, The Kibbe Group, LLC, Pittsboro, N.C.

Phone: 919/960-5290

ASTM Staff: Daniel Smith

Phone: 610/832-9727