Monday, April 20, 2009

PDFshuffler for GNUmed

Today I found out about pdfshuffler. It is a tool to split, merge or generally manipulate PDF files.

For GNUmed this can be handy when archiving documents.

Sometimes there is the issue of having information on multiple patients in one documents. For scans of paper documents this is less of an issue since you can split the content while scanning.

For FAX transmissions this is not so easy. I am not aware of a tool (on Linux) that can split documents by content.

Here is one possible workflow:

1.) Receive fax transmission and have it convert to pdf. Hylafax can do this or one could use tiff2pdf.
2.) Have it displayed in the GNUmed inbox - how does one do that ?
3.) on double click open pdfshuffler, actually two instances of it as you might want to drag 'n drop files between the windows for splitting the document.
4.) save the pdf in a folder on your harddrive
5.) open the pdf in the document archive plugin or drag it there

A few things come to mind.

1.) pdfshuffler has not been tested on windows.
2.) pdfshuffler should be 3rd-party (GNUmed) aware. much like with OpenOffice there should be a way to open a pdf in pdfshuffler from within GNUmed. Pdfshuffler needs a button 'save to GNUmed' next to 'save to file'. One would then feed the pdf back to GNUmed and associate it with the currently active patient.

PDFshuffler actually does not need to know anything about GNUmed. It should simply have the feature to hand the pdf to any program. GNUmed running in remote-control mode should then detect the call (made by a shell script 'gm-fax-importer'), raise the document archive plugin for the currently active patient and display the pdf as document part. Later versions could even extract the pdf metadata and hand those to GNUmed as well.

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