"Step - Breath - Brush stroke"

or MDR as a new brush that works well

No other topic has been as present in medical technology in recent years as Medical Device Regulation (MDR). For many in the industry, the three letters “MDR” have at times become synonymous with “even more paperwork”.

At the same time, MDR also offers technical editors and language professionals an opportunity to subject technical documentation to a long overdue “spring-cleaning”. Given that with every product that has come onto the market, the terminology and technical language has changed – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. The result: many published documents took on a little “dust” and are inconsistent with remaining corporate language.

With MDR’s coming into effect, a number of terms have changed and the readership has been expanded: the target group no longer consists exclusively of medical professionals, but also laypersons and, in this case, mostly the patient. As such, the documentation was due revision anyway, so why not do everything in one go? Terminology is a good place to start.

The work of terminology work is an important process both in text creation and, in the following step; localization of documentation. It contributes to the uniformity and recognition of corporate communications and, provided it has been well and professionally prepared, leads to better understanding on the part of the reader.

When revising content, it is therefore always advisable to start by laying down and defining the terminology.

Cleaning up" terminology - where should we even start?


“” You can’t do it like that. You can’t think of the entire street at once.
You think only of the next step, the next breath, the next brush stroke.
Only ever the next one.

Then you can enjoy it; and that’s important, then you do it well.
And that’s how it should be.”

– Beppo the street sweeper from the book “Momo” by Michael Ende

Basically, it can be said that terminology work is teamwork. As with spring-cleaning, there are different areas that are affected. It is therefore important to involve all the departments that generally come into contact with terminology and corporate language in the process. After all, what good is a well thought-out and tidy terminology database if it is not used in the company?

Once the team has been educated, the first step is to define what terminology should actually be. Not every word is also a terminology candidate. There is also a difference between general technical terminology and the conventions lived in the company. This is where MDR can help – their guidelines set the direction in which one should orient oneself when it comes to medical products.
Once the basics have been clarified, it is much easier to check old terms and define new terms. The aim should be to tidy the terminology database up, rather than make a mess of it.

Voices of experience - these are the hot tips from our terminologists:

  1. One central person responsible / interface for all questions concerning terminology
  2. A clear differentiation between general language and specialized terminology, thus avoiding terminology becoming “bloated” and ultimately failing to achieve its objective
  3. Maintain uniform terminology from the outset, i.e. straight from the text preparation phase
  4. Examine feasibility – instead of striving for big solutions, an excel list can already be helpful for SMEs – the main thing is that it is actually used and point 1 is complied with

If you would like further information on terminology work or are interested in a consultation, please feel free to contact us at any time.

For further information, please visit: https://www.tsd-int.com/en/services/terminology-work/