PDF (or the Portable Document Format) is among the most used of document creation, storage and retrieval formats across the world, i.e. in the niche of electronic or digitalized documentation. The US healthcare niche has been constantly trying to make its patient data’s storage, access and retrieval more undemanding and transparent. In this regard, the use of PDF documentation seems to have all the answers as it is a cost-effective and user-friendly documentation tool. The PDF format has been accepted as a benchmark in the niche of digitalized documentation. Now, PDF document format standards have been endorsed by the much-respected ISO International Standard, i.e. ISO 32000-1.
PDF format is popular for its features like:
- Easy storage of documents
- Uncomplicated content mergence, i.e. procured from different sources
- Provision of collaborative editing
- Freedom of creating digitalized signatures for greater authenticity
- Creation of security and control measures
- Easy accessibility of digitalized content to the disabled
- Undemanding extraction of content
It is expected that the future versions of this format will be even more progressive, i.e. the presence of ISO for developing future versions ensure that any upgrade will be technically at par with the stringiest of document presentation standards. The ISO 32000-1 PDF version is now available across most of ISO’s National Member Institutes apart from the ISO Central Secretariat and the ISO Store. It can also be ordered by contacting the Marketing & Communication department of ISO.
This recognition of PDF format comes after Adobe Systems Incorporated, the developer cum copyright-holder of PDF format, relinquished its right to the ISO. This means that ISO will be in-charge of establishing the standards for PDF. This means that any upgrades in PDF and the introduction of newer versions in the near future will be regulated by ISO itself. This move should further establish the quality of documentation format and document integrity that is associated with PDF. This move is also being titled as the ‘PDF ISO standardization’ process. Even the official authorities at Adobe’s headquarters have openly supported this graduation of PDF into an ISO-endorsed document format. This will further assist more liberal adoption of PDF documents for saving and viewing documents across international organizations and government agencies.
This will also ensure that PDF’s open document format will be more easily adopted by the US healthcare niche. The ISO progression of PDF format will also mean that PDF specifications will now be regulated by a global authority, i.e. the ISO. This is likely to propel PDF document format as the favored and perhaps, the only choice for all healthcare entities in the US healthcare niche as an ISO endorsement essentially means that any organization using the PDF format is unlikely to be challenged by federal or state agencies. This can be major boost to the adoption of PDF-based documentation systems since most of the healthcare businesses are a bit apprehensive about the approval of their chosen Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system and the document format it uses, i.e. whether it would be able to meet HIPAA guidelines. An ISO-backed PDF format means that the electronically stored medical data is sure to meet every documentation format regulation set as a part of HIPAA guidelines apart from providing an easier way of exchanging and viewing medical documents.
Stanislav Krotov is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. ( Moscow State University of M.V. Lomonosov )