How is data visualization (e.g., medical charts, graphs) implemented in healthcare documentation using DITA?

Integrating data visualization, such as medical charts and graphs, into healthcare documentation using DITA is essential for conveying complex information in a clear and concise manner. Here’s how it can be implemented:

Inline Graphics

In DITA, you can include inline graphics directly within the content to enhance the presentation of healthcare information. This is particularly useful for embedding images or simple charts that provide visual context to textual information. Graphics can be referenced using relative paths or managed in a centralized repository, ensuring consistency across documentation.

External Links

For more complex data visualizations or interactive charts, DITA allows you to link to external resources. This is beneficial when healthcare documentation requires dynamic or real-time data representation. By linking to web-based visualization tools or external files, you can ensure that the most up-to-date information is presented to users without the need for frequent documentation updates.


Here’s an example of how inline graphics can be implemented in DITA documentation:

<topic id="patient_health_status">
  <title>Patient Health Status</title>
    <p>Below is a graphical representation of the patient's health status over time:

<image href="health_chart.png" alt="Health Chart"/> <p>The chart illustrates the patient's vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature, recorded during their hospital stay.


In this example, the DITA topic “Patient Health Status” includes an inline image (“health_chart.png”) to visually represent the patient’s health data.