Maarten Balliauw points out a new blog post he's made today showing how to take the methods described in this article on the MSDN and convert it to a more PHP way of thinking, parsing the OpenXML info of the patients.
The scenario for the article is quite simple: Contoso provides a central medical records database. Whenever a physician has to register a new patient, he downloads a Word 2007 document from the Contoso server, fills it out, and uploads it back. Contoso then strips out the necessary data and saves it back in their systems.
This Word 2007 document is crafted around embedded custom XML data, which is displayed and edited using Word 2007. In short: to do the above exercise, you just need to strip out the custom XML and you're done.