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Hill-Rom Case Study

DITA XML Solution for Information Centers



Hill-Rom, a leading provider of medical products and services worldwide, was struggling to find a more effective way to handle all of their technical documentation needs. Some of the challenges Hill-Rom faced included:

Since Hill-Rom’s products are FDA-regulated, their documentation must conform to specific content requirements and established labeling and document control processes. Hill-Rom needed a solution that would help them efficiently create, maintain, and manage all of their technical documentation without the cost and effort associated with implementing a new content management platform. Hill-Rom brought Orbis Technologies in to analyze their current processes and tools, and develop a solution to centralize and streamline the entire process.


Orbis Technologies worked closely with Hill-Rom to design a solution that addressed the needs of the different target audiences – internal users, such as sales and product managers, and external users, such as the physicians and nurses, who would use Hill-Rom products –while also driving efficiencies in both the development and maintenance of all product documentation. A number of options were considered, but a single-source solution was ideal due to the amount of content shared across the many documents.

DITA XML provides the requisite flexibility, supports multiple output types (PDF, HTML), and allows writers to develop information in smaller, more manageable sections. Orbis Technologies recommended Hill-Rom use the DITA Open Toolkit paired with a content management application already in use by Hill-Rom Engineering to develop two Information Centers: one for Hill-Rom employees, and one for Hill-Rom’s external users. Hill-Rom engaged Orbis Technologies to develop the two Information Centers. Orbis Technologies information architects designed the system while technical writers worked on the development of the content. Orbis Technologies also managed the entire project, which allowed Hill-Rom personnel to stay focused on their core business.


Hill-Rom received two Information Centers that encompass internal and external information. Use of the Information Centers has achieved the following measurable results: