UW Medicine

A Custom Drupal Website

Meet UW Medicine

UW Medicine operates through numerous medical centers located across the Puget sound area, including Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital and Medical Center, Valley Medical Center, UW Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, UW Physicians, UW School of Medicine, and Airlift Northwest.

UW Medicine’s Internal Communications Marketing Team was in need of a central website to publish the stories of its staff, provide cross-organization updates, and a calendar for upcoming events. Our design partner Turnstyle brought us into the RFP process in order to support the Drupal and Acquia development aspects.

Wanting to provide a resource that would allow employees from their separate facilities to engage with a unified system, UW Medicine Internal Communication began project scoping a website that could act as a centralized portal.

A Website to Support Complex Content

Working together with the Internal Communications team and Turnstyle, we created a website called “The Huddle.” The Huddle features a wide variety of articles and other content types that allows the UW Medicine team to publish new dynamic content. The new website is built over Drupal 8, using the lightning distribution at Acquia.

Using Drupal’s Paragraph module, the UW Medicine team can expand individual pages with unique call-outs, lists, and graphic content sections, allowing them to approach the design and visual structure of their pages more effectively. Featuring UW Medicine news, presenting human interest stories, or updating the UW Medicine team on research breakthroughs, the build of the website’s back-end allows the UW team to generate unique, vibrant content.

Using the Drupal 8 Webform module, we built a submission function to allow staff to submit their own stories, videos, pictures, or news to be curated by the internal editorial team, and featured on the website.

UW Medicine wanted to make the management of their website as streamlined as possible. To accommodate this, we customized their website to feature content sharing and review functions in order to match their team’s workflow.

The Huddle is also tightly integrated with both their social media platforms, CRM systems, and Acquia. Through an integration with Acquia’s Content Hub, their website synchronizes with a central events calendar, automatically featuring up-to-date information in Huddle’s calendar.

Following internet standards laid out in the University of Washington IT Accessibility Guidelines, Huddle was carefully built to meet accessibility standards, supporting users browsing with assistive devices.

Using Drupal’s Composer for Future Websites–Custom Replication

Huddle also makes use of Composer, a PHP dependency manager found in the Drupal 8 Core. Composer handles management of the Drupal core code and any community modules, as well as exported configuration. We initially built Huddle in a safe staging environment, and then during the deployment process used Composer to immediately autobuild the website using the exported YML files.

For UW Medicine, who is using a multi-site configuration with Acquia in order to support their plans for additional websites in the future, this means that they can update quickly, and replicate the site to new instances as needed. It also means that configuration is being stored not only in the database, but also as code in a Git repository.

All configuration around content types and fields are exportable as configuration, allowing them to install it anywhere.

Moving Forward With UW Medicine

At the conclusion of our initial project, we have stayed on as a partner with the UW Medicine team, providing ongoing support for their current website as well as potential assistance for any new projects to come.