Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Since its founding in 1947 by the late Sidney Farber, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been committed to providing cancer patients with the best treatment available today while concurrently developing the cures of tomorrow. World-renowned for its unique blending of basic and clinical research, the Institute practices what Dr. Farber called "total patient care" -- addressing the medical needs of patients as well as the psychological, social, and spiritual challenges they and their families often face.
The Content Engineering Challenge:
The Dana-Farber community is diverse, consisting of patients (both current and prospective), physicians, researchers, and potential donors. The Dana-Farber Web site needs to serve all of these audiences well, providing them with fast, easy access to the information and services they need, within an environment and user experience that reflects the values and philosophy of the Institute. After determining that its existing Web site was not serving its purpose, Dana-Farber brought in Pandora Systems (in partnership with NewTilt, Inc., a strategic design group) to create a Web site that would offer easy access to Institute resources and services, as well as up-to-date information about cancers, possible treatments, clinical trials, and ongoing developments in research. As part of this re-design the Institute also wanted to provide users with a convenient way to support the Jimmy Fund and other research efforts with donations.
The re-designed Dana-Farber Web site is an information-rich resource for patients and medical professionals alike. Its more than 1500 pages of content are well organized, easy to search and browse, and absolutely up to date, thanks to the robust system designed and implemented by Pandora Systems. The Web site also provides users with a fully searchable directory of Dana-Farber physicians and researchers, a form for requesting appointments, and the ability to register online for a variety of services, including a regular email newsletter. In addition, visitors to www.dana-farber.org and www.jimmyfund.org can now make donations online using a credit card through a fully secure process, and can also register online for a variety of fund-raising events.
To ensure that the information regarding the latest cancer research and treatments is as up-to-date and reliable as possible, Pandora Systems developed a process that pulls automated information updates from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This update arrives in ASCII format, is converted to XML, validated, and provided to the Dana-Farber site on a scheduled basis. Through this process, users get the most reliable and up-to-date information available, with no expensive, labor-intensive manual update process. Maintaining this content in XML format allows users to search it easily, and access it in multiple ways.
Other new features provided by Pandora Systems include a form that lets patients request appointments online; a searchable directory of Dana-Farberís physicians and researchers; a patient referral form for physicians; and a form that lets users register for a free online newsletter.
Pandoraís solution also provides a user-membership system to facilitate easy online giving and event participation, real-time connectivity to a number of information databases and an e-commerce engine to enable online transactions for the Friends Boutique, which offers women the products they need to manage their appearance during cancer treatments.