Here's what you need to know about PDF and C-CDA file formats:
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format used to present documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including the text, fonts, graphics and other information needed to display it.
PDF's are generally easy to open and read but usually can not be used to import data on other systems.
Consolidated-Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA or sometimes called CDA) is a base standard which provides a common architecture, coding, semantic framework, and markup language for the creation of electronic clinical documents.
CDA defines building blocks which can be used to contain healthcare data elements that can be captured, stored, accessed, displayed and transmitted electronically for use and reuse in many formats.
The Meaningful Use program is pushing for EHR's to be able to export and import information based on these C-CDA files.