Why Open Source CMS Like Drupal Can Work for Healthcare

Healthcare organizations traditionally have turned up their collective noses at open source content management system (CMS) software, citing internal policies and concerns about security and support. Rather, they’ve long preferred CMS solutions that can be licensed for their own and that have been developed by a single company, even if that single company is quite small or inflexible.

But in other industries, CMS tools like Drupal (which is freely available) have been gaining steam with large enterprise organizations. Open source CMS tools offer ever-increasing benefits, such as new features, flexible and free-to-use templates, and more. And these sites are secure, with continual, evolving security enhancements provided regularly.

So how can healthcare organizations, which requires airtight security and immediate site support more than many other industries, reap the benefits of open source CMS? Enter Acquia, a platform that addresses these concerns and provides a Drupal CMS that maximizes the benefits of open source while providing a secure, enterprise-ready solution.

Let’s touch on a few commonly asked questions about open source CMS for healthcare, and how we leverage our healthcare expertise via the Acquia platform

Who provides technical support for open source CMS software?

Open source software like Drupal is developed by a community of developers who donate their work to be used by others. While this allows the software to be available free of charge, this community of developers can’t necessarily be counted on to answer the phone when there is an issue. Obviously, this is a concern for healthcare organizations – having your site go down can be mission critical for you and for patients.

Acquia, a company that was started by the founder of Drupal, provides support reliability to healthcare organizations. Their team hosts Drupal sites and directly works to resolve any issues that arise with the platform.

Is an open source CMS secure for healthcare?

Open source software products such as Drupal approach security differently than licensed software. Their source code (and therefore any vulnerabilities) are more visible to potential attackers and potential fixers. This creates a feedback loop where the product is evaluated and fixed quickly. And it means that organizations leveraging Drupal must keep up-to-date with the latest security patches to ensure their platform remains secure.

Acquia provides ongoing security patching and a HIPAA-compliant hosting infrastructure that protects sites from potential attack. The Acquia team is actively and continually working on new features and enhancements to keep Drupal sites secure. In addition, MedTouch develops solutions that take the needs of healthcare into account by encrypting web form submissions from users and enhancing the system’s password requirements, ensuring that user-submitted data users remains secure.

Does Drupal CMS have the features I need?

The newest version of Drupal has introduced sophisticated ways to create pages that are built from flexible layouts and components. We can build and easily edit any type of site design in Drupal and create complex features that integrate with third-party systems. The public repository of modules created by the Drupal community and free for use by anyone with Drupal helps to reduce initial development time and ongoing maintenance cost.

We further provide key functionality that healthcare organizations come to expect from their CMS, such as physician directory functionality, calendar of events, and integration with products such as appointment scheduling.

While healthcare organizations have been slow to adopt Drupal as a CMS, those who do are finding an enterprise-class system that can meet their needs and stand up to the IT scrutiny required to protect their patients and their health system.

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