From Paper to Paperless Securely in Healthcare

by Li Liu, Product Marketing Manager

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Whether you’re a clinician, IT leader, analyst, content manager, operation manager, architect, developer, designer, or any other type of individual contributor responsible for IT strategies in healthcare, you want to ensure your organization’s road to digital is as smooth as possible.

Foxit can be an invaluable aid as you prepare to go digital in the healthcare industry. Especially in one of the very first steps: planning out a strategy from going from paper to paperless.

The cost of paper products, sorting, storage, and mailing costs the healthcare industry billions of dollars annually. Let’s not forget the waste generated and the effort to recycle. Eliminating paper was never an option, but a matter of time and strategy. The benefits of going paperless include collaboration between departments, more insights on patient care, which result in improved patient satisfaction, and increase in clinical productivity.

Even the most prepared companies typically overlook the vast amount of paperless capabilities that are available when migrating from paper to paperless. We already know that by going paperless, patient satisfaction increases, retention rates for clients are higher, collection costs decrease, and online payment methods are more efficient. Often, companies neglect document solutions that would otherwise make them more efficient.

When it comes to going paperless, a growing number of healthcare organizations require file formats to be compressed, web-optimized, and easily accessed through various platforms. That’s why many of them have come to rely on PDF as the standard for digitizing paper documents. What’s more, guidelines already exist for best use of PDF in healthcare.

PDF/H offers guidelines for continued use of PDF in healthcare

Published in 2008, the PDF/H, a.k.a. PDF Healthcare, is a best practices guide, supplemented by an Implementation Guide. While not a standard or even a proposed standard, PDF/H provides guidelines for use with existing standards and other technologies.

The migration of medical records from paper to digital will benefit from the availability of an easy-to-adopt document encapsulation standard that meets healthcare industry requirements for portability, security and information exchange—which PDF already does, according to the healthcare experts who’ve developed PDF/H. In fact, PDF is already used in many healthcare organizations for sharing and storing device-independent medical records and imaging for those very reasons.

Foxit Enterprise Automation server solutions offer high-volume compression to compact, searchable PDF

Since existing image files were difficult and time-consuming to locate and retrieve, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses Foxit PDF Compressor to efficiently and securely deliver text-searchable large files.

Paperless features include:

  • Scan paper to text searchable files with desktop, mobile, web, or server automation for mass quantities of document processing
  • Convert large volumes of documents of various kinds into a standardized format so medical staff can have a uniform way of maintaining, sharing, and producing health documents and records.
  • Compress scanned content into smaller files to save space and faster transmission to others (PDF vs. TIFF)

PDF software and associated PDF security measures can continue to play a key role in the standardization of medical record-keeping. And they can go a long way to enabling patients, their doctors and healthcare organizations to share life-saving data.


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