Case study: More efficient management of drug dose data at Pharmaceutical Press

Pharmaceutical Press

Pharmaceutical Press is the publishing division of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Its publications are internationally recognised as leaders in their field. These include the BNF, which is published by Pharmaceutical Press in conjunction with the BMJ Group, and provides UK healthcare professionals with authoritative and practical information on the selection and clinical use of medicines.

Business challenge:

Information about drug doses is integral to the print and online books published by Pharmaceutical Press. Modern healthcare systems provide new revenue opportunities for this information, by adding additional structure, the information can be sold as a dataset in digital format. Previously, Pharmaceutical Press managed their book content and their dataset content separately, but this led to duplication of effort and increased costs and risk, Pharmaceutical Press approached 67 Bricks to help them develop an integrated toolset, accessible via a web interface, for combining the management of both sets of information.

67 Bricks solution:

67 Bricks carried out interviews with Pharmaceutical Press staff to understand the business requirements of the system, and performed in-depth analyses of the existing XML and relational data structures. We constructed a detailed model of the structure of the dose information, concentrating on accuracy of representation, and on ease of editing. We then proposed a system that met the business and technical objectives. We built the system with regular stakeholder engagement to ensure that it delivered the required business benefits and met user expectations. The system was built in Java on top of the existing XML content management system used by the Press.

67 Bricks recognized that a key challenge was to enable an incremental introduction of the new system, so editorial work did not have to cease while existing dose information was converted. The dose data is edited as structured data via a web based form. The toolset enables the user to generate sentences from the structured data suitable for use in print, as well as to export the structured data to a relational database for use as a dataset. This ensures that the underlying data is delivered consistently irrespective of the output format.

Business value:

The toolset was successfully delivered on time and on budget. The project has reduced Pharmaceutical Press overheads by bringing together the separate datasets, and has successfully achieved the business objectives.

“67 Bricks have delivered an elegant solution to a difficult technical problem.”
Eric Connor, Head of Technology Strategy.
“Please take my thanks for delivering this project so successfully. I have been very impressed with your approach, your attitude, your ability to achieve tight deadlines and your continued focus on delivering a project that meets our business objectives. I look forward to working with you on additional projects in the future.”
Cornelia Schnelle BNF Managing Editor - Digital.