Aug 15 in  News

The Digitization of the Healthcare Industry

Industry overview

Healthcare TabletThe healthcare industry handles an unsurprisingly large amount of data on a daily basis – patient records, test results, analyses, consent forms, research material, etc. Before computers were introduced into the workforce, healthcare workers had to keep track of all data on paper. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. Well, sort of.

It’s true that when you walk into most clinics or hospitals, your information (i.e., name, phone number, address) is entered and saved in their computer’s database. But what happens to your test results? Your doctor’s medical notes? Your medical history? Unfortunately, this data is still kept on paper in many healthcare institutions and not transferred to an easily accessible electronic database.

 

Collecting data

So how do we solve this problem? Digitizing most processes would definitely be a step in the right direction. Having all patient records saved in a secure electronic database is way more efficient than having paper folders and filing cabinets – it’s easier to search for and find information, and it helps keep everything organized.

Healthcare workers can save all their written data in PDF format and rest assured the documents will be kept safe. They can add passwords and set permission levels to ensure extra security. It’s even possible to merge all relevant PDF files for a given patient into a single file so that searching for and finding specific information about that patient can be done within seconds.

 

Accessing data

Healthcare Tablet 2Sure, paper documents are easily accessible… if you haven’t misplaced them or if they’re right in front of you. But if you save electronic data, you simply need to do a quick search to find what you are looking for. Healthcare professionals can carry around tablets to maintain electronic health records, and they won’t have to worry about losing the data because they can automatically save it in their database.

The healthcare industry can also adopt the use of cloud storage services, which means the data would be accessible online, through any web browser. Some PDF software such as Soda PDF have cloud services integrated within the app, so you can send your PDF files directly to your preferred cloud storage.

 

Archiving data

PDF software are often equipped with tools such as PDF/A converters that make long-term archiving possible. With the amount of patient data the healthcare industry manages, archiving is not only useful, but necessary.

The PDF/A format has specific requirements to make sure whatever software is used in the distant future will be able to support the file and display all its contents properly. This is especially useful for the healthcare industry because it is extremely cumbersome to have to keep every patient’s medical records long-term. If everything is kept in an electronic database, it does not take up any physical space, therefore data can be kept for a much longer period of time.

 

Communicating with patients

Another innovative way to improve the industry’s processes is having web portals clients can access to view their profiles, book appointments online, and download helpful guides (e.g., information relating to pregnancy, parenting, dieting, exercising, dealing with certain diseases, etc.).

Some healthcare institutions may also send out newsletters that patients might be interested in, so it’s always a good idea to have a mailing list people can sign up to.

Aug 01 in  News

How to Edit PDF Files Like a Pro

Edit ToolsIn this day and age, receiving paper documents to review and edit is a rarity, especially in a professional environment. Document sharing is now mostly done electronically, and a secure way of sending a file is by converting it to PDF first. But how do you review and edit a digital file you’ve just received? The easiest way is to use a PDF application such as Soda PDF that offers state-of-the-art PDF markup tools. Best part is, most basic markup tools are free.

 

Basic markup

Basic markup refers to the most commonly used annotation tools: highlight, underline and strikethrough. The highlighting and underlining features are normally used when you want an important passage or quote to stand out from your PDF file. For example, if you’re going over a report your boss has just sent you, it might be a good idea to highlight or underline sections that you think require attention or that you might want to circle back to once you’re done reading.

The strikethrough feature is another nifty tool that is mostly used to remove certain passages from a file while still leaving traces of it behind. Let’s say you are reviewing a contract that was sent to you, but you notice something that you don’t think should be included. Simply use the strikethrough tool, which will make it easier for other readers to understand that you wish to remove that specific passage from the document.

 

Adding comments

The best way to annotate a file is by adding your personal comments to it, just like you would a paper document. Instead of using actual post-it notes, you can use virtual ones.

Soda PDF has a built-in sticky note tool that is very easy to use. You can basically add a sticker note and include your comments anywhere on your file. If it gets too cumbersome, you can temporarily hide the notes so they don’t distract you while you continue reviewing the document.

 

Pencil ToolUsing a pencil

The pencil tool is pretty straightforward. Use it just like you would a real pencil. You can write anywhere on your document – all you need is a fairly steady hand. But don’t worry, it’s really not that hard. It just takes some getting used to and you’ll be a pro in no time.

You also have a wide array of colors to choose from, so if you want to handwrite a note and you want to make sure it stands out, you can select a flashy color.

 

Adding shapes

When you’re reviewing a paper document, you often draw arrows to point out certain passages. Why should the way you edit physical documents be any different than electronic documents?

PDF software often come equipped with shapes and arrows you can add to your pages. You can choose from double-arrows, block arrows, stars, ovals, rectangles, and more.

 

Using stamps

Sure, using real stamps can be fun. Who hasn’t played around with one at one time or another? But let’s be honest, they’re not very popular nowadays – stamps are an archaic way of approving documents.

But what if you could add a stamp of approval (or disapproval, or whatever you wanted) digitally? Good news is, you can! You can use a premade stamp, or you can create a personalized stamp to suit your needs.

Jul 18 in  News

How to Prepare a Professional PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint PresentationSweaty palms. Increased heart rate. Stammering. We all know how nerve-racking presentations can be, especially when you’re presenting in front of a large crowd. So why not make the process a little less stressful? Here are some tips on how to create a professional PowerPoint presentation that will impress your audience.

 

Know your audience

Before you start preparing your PowerPoint presentation, you need to know who your audience is. Whether it be your coworkers, your boss, or potential clients, it’s always a good idea to tailor your presentation accordingly.

You also need to know how much your audience already knows about the subject you are presenting. If they are new to the topic, you need to describe it in great detail with lots of visual aid to make it easier for them to understand. If your audience is familiar with the topic, there’s no need to bore them with an excessive amount of detail.

 

Know your objective

If you’ve been asked to do a presentation, it’s always a good idea to find out why you’ve been asked to present. What’s the objective? Is it to get your client to buy something? Is it to explain a certain subject? Is it to train a group of people? Is it simply to inform?

Knowing the reason why you’re presenting will help guide you throughout the entire process. By keeping your objective in mind, you’ll be able to stay on track and drive your point home.

 

Available equipment

It happens all the time: the projector doesn’t work, the computer freezes, the software bugs. And although you don’t really have any control over these things, you can at least make sure the room you will be presenting in has all the equipment you need.

Best thing to do to avoid complications is to show up early and set everything up in advance so you don’t waste time during your presentation. Plus, it will give you peace of mind, allowing you to focus on the content rather than worrying about technological glitches.

 

 Software options

Think about how you want to present your topic. Generally speaking, PowerPoint is the software of choice when it comes to presentations as it provides slides, graphics, special designs, animation, and more. Using PowerPoint will help keep you organized and will help you demonstrate your subject clearly and effectively.

There is another option that is readily available if you don’t own MS PowerPoint. You can just as easily present your topic using a free PDF creator or a reliable PDF editor such as Soda PDF. A PDF creator will allow you to convert an existing file such as a Word document into a professional looking PDF file, whereas a PDF editor will allow you to create your presentation directly within the PDF software.

Soda PDF allows you to add text, change the background color of your pages, insert images, move pages around, edit the font, and much more. Also, if you already have a PDF file you’d like to convert to PowerPoint, Soda makes the conversion fast, easy and accurate.

Jul 04 in  News

[Infographic] How to Digitize Your Files With OCR

Rummaging through your paper documents can be a hassle, not to mention time-consuming. So where does OCR fit in? Simple – this advanced technology will help you digitize all your files so you can access them directly from your computer.

Our infographic will explain what OCR does exactly and how it works, plus it offers a step-by-step guide on how to use it so you can try it out for yourself. We’ve also included a list of all the benefits you’ll enjoy by digitizing your paper documents, including saving time and resources, quickly finding keywords, decluttering, and more.

Click on the image below to check out our brand new infographic on how to digitize your files using OCR technology.

 

How to Digitize Your Files With OCR

 

If you want a more in-depth guide on how to scan a document and activate the OCR engine in the Soda PDF app, you can check out this article. It includes an informative video that will make it easier for you to follow along and to better understand the process.

On the other hand, if you want to learn how to use OCR on an existing PDF file, you can view this page. It will explain what each individual feature does (e.g., Manual vs. Auto, batch recognition, etc.) and how to use it.

Jun 15 in  News

PDF/A Converter: Why You Should Use it and How

PDFA ConverterWhat is a PDF/A converter?

The PDF/A conversion feature is an archiving tool that allows you to preserve your electronic documents. A good PDF converter such as Soda PDF allows you to easily convert your PDFs to PDF/A. This functionality is mostly used in libraries, banks, law firms, and insurance firms, as these types of institutions require long-term document preservation.

 

Difference between PDF and PDF/A

The main difference between PDF and PDF/A is that the latter has specific requirements that the regular PDF format does not. The reason why PDF/A enforces these requirements is to make sure that whatever software is used in the distant future will be able to support the file and display all its contents properly.

 

Types of PDF/A conversion

The two main levels of conformance you can choose from are:

  • PDF/A-1a (accessible): This conformance level has strict requirements; your document must contain tagging, document structure (hierarchy), language specification, and Unicode mappings. This level is accessible for visually impaired users.

 

  • PDF/A-1b (basic): This conformance level has minimum requirements. It does not require tagging, hierarchy, etc. It can be created from a scanned document instead of an existing digital file.

 

You can find more information about all available PDF/A conformance levels here.

 

PDF/A restrictions

Unfortunately, you will not be able to include any audio/video content when you are using a PDF/A converter, nor will you be able to include encryption and JavaScript. The reason why is simple – that type of content is too heavy for long-term digital file preservation, and, as mentioned earlier, future software might not be able to support it.

When archiving a PDF file, you want to ensure the file is lightweight and follows all the PDF/A conformance rules, otherwise it may not be accessible to future users due to the compliance being broken.