Drupal Consulting at NYU Langone Medical Center - Department of Pathology Labs

Web Content Management Systems- New York University Langone Medical Center

The New York University (NYU) Department of Pathology is one of the largest departments at NYU Langone Medical Center, with physicians practicing at Tisch Hospital, Bellevue Medical Center, The Hospital for Joint Diseases and the VA Medical Center. The Department, devoted to establishing a scholarly community for the creation and dissemination of knowledge related to pathology, is widely regarded as a leader in immunological research, molecular oncology, and experimental pathology.

The Department, formerly led by Chairman David B. Roth, M.D., Ph.D., has numerous research scientists, or Principal Investigators, that work on many different projects. These Principal Investigators needed a Website for their labs that would offer a public facing Website, along with areas restricted to only lab members.

The Department hired DPCI, in conjunction with its design partner, to design then implement a self-service public and private Web portal platform for Labs that is connected to the existing Department of Pathology Website.

The Challenge

The Department of Pathology research scientists needed a way to manage and customize their own lab Websites quickly and easily, without being dependent on a Web administrator to do this for them. This was especially important for those labs with very small staffs who are primarily focused on research and who do not have Website implementation and management experience.

The Department of Pathology needed to share information publicly about research being conducted in each lab and by whom. In addition, the Department needed a way to securely share documents and protocol manuals with all lab members, make departmental announcements, and offer a way for lab members to engage in online discussions. The Department wanted to easily publish Pathology news and events that was on the main department Website to lab Websites, as well as publish lab news and publications from the lab Websites to the main Website.

The Solution

DPCI provided Drupal consulting services to devise a solution that would meet the Department’s needs. As a result, DPCI extended the Department of Pathology’s Drupal Web content management system that was implemented by DPCI in 2007, to enable Administrators to quickly create and configure templated lab Websites based on the needs of research scientists. Then, lab staff can further customize the lab’s Website by changing the navigation, applying a different color scheme, chosen from a predefined list of color palettes, and then replace default graphics with custom graphics specific to that lab. With this new system, all of the lab Websites share a common code base, which simplifies upgrades and allows new features to be quickly available across Websites.

Lab staff can now independently create, publish and maintain lab content, news and publications for their own public lab Websites. The solution also allows lab members a way to securely share confidential materials such as documents, research and other materials within a private portal workspace.

The pathology.med.nyu.edu Website Administrators can now access and publish lab content for publication to the main Website. Additionally, news and event content from the main Pathology Website now automatically appears on all individual lab portal Websites.

Finally, Principal Investigators can post announcements and messages to lab members and all team members can now engage in threaded discussions in an online bulletin board.

The Results

With this new approach, the Department of Pathology has launched four independently operated lab Websites with more coming soon. The Websites are simple to set up and manage by non-technical users and the Website Administrators can control what information is restricted and what information is made publicly available both on the public facing lab Website as well as the Department of Pathology main Website.

“DPCI has turned several of our complex proposals into flawless websites,” stated Daniel Wild, Web Editor and Content Manager, Department of Pathology, NYU Langone Medical Center. “They really understand our needs and it's refreshing to collaborate with such a skillful and reliable team.”

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