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Leading Medical Software Provider Adopts MadCap Flare to Cut Production of Print Manuals and Online Help from Two Months to One Week, Easily Add QR Codes, and Ensure Government Healthcare Compliance

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Compressus, Inc.

Washington, D.C.

Industry:

  • Healthcare

Goals:

  • Eliminate the redundancy of cutting and pasting content to create product manuals and online Help
  • Cut technical documentation project time
  • Improve backup process
  • Facilitate compliance
  • Enable the use of QR codes
  • Support future plans for translation and localization to support global customers

Solutions:

  • MadCap Flare native XML content authoring tool
  • MadCap Platinum Support

Benefits:

  • Content reuse and single-sourcing cut project time from 2 months to 1 week
  • Single-sourcing and one-button back-up facilitate annual compliance check-ups
  • Ability to run multiple versions of Flare-based online Help supports option to revert back to previous product and documentation versions
  • QR codes help end users quickly reach the Web information they need
  • Tight integration between Flare and MadCap Lingo translation management software will facilitate future translation and localization
  • MadCap Platinum Support shortens learning curve
"I click one button, and Flare creates a template from a completed work, which allows me to be instantly halfway to two-thirds done with the project."
Pam Coca | Documentation Manager, Compressus
"MadCap has provided our technical documentation team with flexible tools and the ability to accurately manage our operations while maintaining compliance with standards and regulations."
Laszlo Gasztonyi | Chief Technology Officer, Compressus
"I love having the QR code as a snippet because it is the epitome of single-sourcing. If any of the support information changes, I just edit the snippet, and the content updates itself."
Pam Coca | Documentation Manager, Compressus
"MadCap Flare is a solution that can readily adjust with our future market requirements."
Janine Broda | Chief Marketing Officer, Compressus

Compressus is a leader in digital medical solutions software, delivering MEDxConnect, which seamlessly integrates the diverse output of medical imaging devices.

With a first-hand knowledge of the benefits that integration brings, Compressus uses MadCap Flare to produce up-to-date, easy-to-understand user documentation and online Help for the physicians who use MEDxConnect. Together, Flare's single-source publishing and support for content re-use are enabling Compressus to save significant time in developing these print and online materials while ensuring the consistency and accuracy to comply with government healthcare mandates and the company's own best practices.

"Our software goes into hospitals and radiology centers where some customers like to mix the features from different versions to meet their specific needs, which means they also require customized documentation," explains Pam Coca, documentation manager at Compressus. "Flare lets us support them by making it easy to produce our online Help and print guide, keep multiple versions of them on hand, and even combine them as needed."

By contrast, Pam says, the company's previous Help publishing tool often had problems running an earlier version of the online Help system, limiting the company's options.

Eliminating Duplication of Efforts

The bigger challenge was that the previous authoring tool for online Help could not directly publish the printed user manual. As a result, Compressus had to rely on a separate tool for print documentation.

"There was no link between the systems, so we had to cut-and-paste content between them," Pam recalls. "It was a tedious and redundant process, but of even more concern was how difficult it was to maintain consistency."

The experience led Compressus to recognize the need to move toward a true single-sourcing solution, and MadCap Flare emerged as the clear choice. Flare's single-source, multi-channel authoring meant the company could create content once in a Flare project and then publish that content to print manuals and online Help as needed.

"We were looking for a solution that would provide our technical team with the flexibility to meet our market demands and output a professional deliverable quickly," explains Janine Broda, Compressus chief marketing officer. "MadCap Flare has enabled the team to expedite updates in an accurate manner with the required backup and documentation, increasing productivity."

Screenshot 4
User Manual Interactive PDF

Streamlining the Publishing Process

Compressus has significantly reduced project time since implementing Flare. The initial documentation project to create online Help and a print manual took two months; the second was completed in two weeks, and the third was finished in less than a week.

One feature that has contributed to this productivity is the "Save Project as Template' button, says Pam; "This is one of the features I use the most. With 'Save Project as Template', I click one button, and Flare creates a template from a completed work, which allows me to be instantly halfway to two-thirds done with the project."

Another is the ability to reuse content. For instance, all the Compressus manuals have an overview chapter that provides an introduction to the products and a closing chapter with the end-user licensing agreement.

"I created a project for each of the chapters and linked them to the first primary project I created," Pam explains. "Now when I create a new document, Flare automatically generates the template and includes the two chapters."

Screenshot 2
Three Flare Projects Open At Same Time

Taking Complexity out of Compliance

Like all medical software providers, Compressus is required to comply with US federal requirements, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), along with international standards, such as those from the EU.

As a result, Compressus needs to save backups and revisions, and then make them available for annual compliance checkups. Flare supports this requirement by creating smaller backup files for MEDxConnect documentation, saving valuable storage space.

Flare also makes the backup process simple," Pam says noting, "I love the one-button backup."

Finally, Flare's single-source publishing helps Compressus ensure information consistency across MEDxConnect documentation.

Screenshot 3
MEDxConnect HTML5 Online Help In Use

""The ease of documentation conversion is critical to our business," explains Laszlo Gasztonyi, Compressus chief technology officer. "MadCap has provided our technical documentation team with flexible tools and the ability to accurately manage our operations, including the support of the development, deployment and support activities of our products, while maintaining compliance with standards and regulations."

The Convenience of QR Codes

Compressus is also using MadCap Flare to add features that are popular with customers, such as Quick Response (QR) codes, which users can scan to access information on the Web.

All MEDxConnect software comes with numerous 8.5 x 11-inch, laminated quick reference cards, which are designed to slide under user keyboards. Now QR codes on these cards give customers instant access to the online Help. The reference cards are developed using special design software, which cannot generate QR codes. Therefore, Pam goes into Flare, creates a QR code, saves it as a PNG image, and then inserts it into the quick reference card file.

More recently Pam has begun adding QR codes to other projects, such as Welcome page dropdowns for both WebHelp and HTML5 Help.

Screenshot 1
HTML5 Welcome Page with Open Dropdown Showing QR Code Snippet

"I created a single row, two-column snippet that has the QR code in the left column and the text contacting support in the right column," Pam explains. "I love having the QR code as a snippet because it is the epitome of single-sourcing. If any of the support information changes, I just edit the snippet, and the content updates itself."

Platinum Support Eases Learning Curve

Pam credits customer service from the MadCap support team for making the transition to a new documentation platform with minimal disruption.

"Support that is as good as the product is lifesaving, and MadCap Platinum Support saved the day," Pam says.

"I'd call MadCap's customer service, and the support person would answer a week's worth of questions in five minutes. I am so happy that I switched to Flare!"

Looking Ahead

Going forward, Compressus plans to support its expanding base of worldwide users, and currently is looking at adding translation and localization in French, Spanish and Chinese. With this goal in mind, the company has purchased the entire MadPak technical communications suite, which includes MadCap Lingo translation management software.

Another top project is creating a knowledge base, Compressus CMO Janine Broda explains, "We envision providing end users with an online knowledge base with all of our documentation in a single location. MadCap Flare is a solution that can readily adjust with our future market requirements."