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How Digital Healthcare Is Evolving with Drupal
November 9, 2017 |

A growing number of healthcare organizations have chosen to build their digital presence with Drupal, including Memorial Sloan Kettering, and New York State’s largest healthcare provider, Northwell Health. And healthcare continues to adopt Drupal as the content management system of choice, with many healthcare systems embracing the benefits of migrating from older Drupal platforms to Drupal 8.  

What is it about Drupal that keeps leading healthcare institutions committed to the platform? And how has Drupal evolved to help healthcare organizations better serve their patients and create a secure, user-friendly digital experience?

For digital healthcare decision makers, there are many reasons to choose and stick with Drupal, including:  

  • Best-in-class security
  • Centralized multi-site management
  • Built for third-party integrations
  • Increased administrative efficiencies  and consistent UX
  • Improved accessibility

Let’s look at how these Drupal capabilities are helping digital healthcare evolve today.

Best-in-class security

While healthcare organizations may have baulked at using open source solutions initially due to security and patient privacy concerns, adoption of Drupal by leading medical facilities like the Children's Hospital Philadelphia and Duke Health have extinguished myths around open source security. 

Drupal’s collaborative, open source development model gives it an edge when it comes to security. Throngs of Drupal developers around the globe ensure a constant process of testing, reviews, and alerts which ensure detection and eradication of potential security vulnerabilities.

Since thousands of developers dedicate their time and talents to finding and fixing security issues, Drupal can respond very quickly when problems are found. With Drupal 8, there are even more ways the Drupal community has taken action to make this software secure and evolve to respond to new types of attacks.

Centralized multi-site management

Health systems often encompass many healthcare brands, each of which requires its own digital presence, content, and site functionality. Creating and managing a centralized, consistent experience for patients across health providers and devices can be tricky.

A multisite platform built with Drupal enables healthcare systems to run all of their sites off of a single codebase, providing better consistency, streamlined maintenance, and facilitating easier content sharing between sites, while empowering healthcare facilities with flexible functionality for their specific needs. Editors from one centralized office can easily publish and push content to multiple sites.

Editors can also quickly create new microsites without seeking developer assistance. This gives them greater agility in posting timely, relevant content for their patients across many different digital spaces.

Built for 3rd-party integrations

Healthcare tools, tech, and software are experiencing explosive growth as new patient communication channels like chatbots, voice technology, and AI emerge. The digital patient experience no longer just lives on your CMS.

Your CMS must integrate with new technologies and channels, as well as your CRM and marketing automation tools, to perform as a cohesive digital experience platform that reaches patients where they are.

Drupal is the most flexible CMS available when it comes to third-party integrations. Along with the power of APIs, Drupal can help you outfit your digital presence with the latest emerging tech more quickly than your competitors, allowing you to deliver an unparalleled patient experience.

Increased administrative efficiencies and consistent user experience

In large, consolidated medical ecosystems, interoffice and interdepartmental collaboration obstacles often translate into inefficient content publishing practices. This is even more compounded when content editors need a developer in the loop to help them make changes. When these hurdles aren’t properly navigated, patients suffer by not being able to gain easy access to the most relevant and up-to-date information.

Over the years, Drupal has evolved to be more flexible and accommodating for non-technical content admins, providing a highly customizable and user-friendly administration dashboard. Drupal empowers healthcare content admins to design content independent of developers with modules like Paragraphs, which lets content admins rearrange page layouts without code adjustments while enforcing consistency across agency sites.

Check out how Phase2 helped Memorial Sloan Kettering create a consistent user experience for over 130,000 patients with Drupal 8.

Improved web accessibility

To effectively serve their patients, healthcare websites must be accessible to an extremely large and diverse audience. This audience often requires accommodations for physical disabilities, and needs to be able to access information across an array of devices, and in multiple languages. With its diverse, worldwide community of contributors, Drupal facilitates meeting accessibility needs on a number of fronts.

Flexible and fully customizable theming makes it possible for Drupal sites to meet Section 508 and WCAG accessibility requirements. Responsive base themes are readily available to give themers a strong foundation for ensuring compatibility with a wide range of access devices. And internationalization is at the cornerstone of Drupal 8 to provide multilingual functionality.

These accessibility features are helping healthcare systems create a user-friendly experience for everyone, and ultimately pushing digital healthcare to follow user-centric design best practices.

Healthcare professionals considering Drupal, or a migration to Drupal 8, should consider these benefits and how leveraging Drupal for healthcare systems can evolve digital experiences to be seamless, intuitive, and accessible for both the patient and internal marketing and IT teams.

To learn more about evolving the digital patient experience with Drupal, listen to this podcast with Phase2 and our client, Northwell Health.

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