Future State - The Oracle Consulting Blog

Content Management Challenges and Best Practices for the Healthcare Industry

Guest Author

by Matt Thornton

The Healthcare industry faces unique business challenges, including significant requirements for comprehensive organizational Content Management strategies:

Content Management Challenges and Best Practices for Healthcare
  • Public safety and health considerations in the Healthcare industry put a premium on the availability, accuracy, and timeliness of content in all its forms, including packaging and labeling, instructions for use, informed consents, patient-reported outcome instruments, online training, websites, portals, and social media.
  • Increasing expenses to manage stringent legal and regulatory compliance mandates are forcing the Healthcare industry to undergo significant cost-reduction efforts.
  • Organizational change, including mergers and acquisitions, require digital convergence of legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, print material, and Web content to shorten product-cycle times, reduce costs, reach new markets, and maximize synchronicity throughout the enterprise.
  • The industry is being pushed to innovate and to create new, greater value for patients, medical communities, employees, shareholders, governments, regulators, nongovernmental organizations, suppliers, and business partners.
  • Companies must operate on a global scale to drive growth, requiring business leaders to rethink their global communications, clinical trials, and regulatory compliance strategies.

Healthcare organizations can realize tremendous benefits and cost savings through a content management initiative. Without a content strategy, important data and information remains stored in disparate systems, shielded from the scientists, clinicians, regulatory managers, research partners, physicians, and marketers who need access to it. A content management strategy is a cross-functional initiative to improve all aspects of the business.

Content management solutions incorporate the strategy, processes, technologies (like Oracle WebCenter), tools, and methods used to capture, manage, and deliver content across a global enterprise. Developing a content management strategy and roadmap is the first step for Healthcare organizations addressing issues in global content management.


The average Healthcare industry user accesses between four and eight systems a day. A content management strategy examines how to make content more “findable” and “presentable” by assessing these areas:

  • Governance – Are enforced policies and procedures in place?
  • Information Architecture – Is current and new content categorized and tagged in a way that everyone understands?
  • Business Process – Are workflows standardized and automated?
  • User Experience – How are key stakeholders, from employees to patients, finding the information they need?
  • Technology and Applications – Is the existing technology being used properly? What improvements or new systems would streamline information flow with optimal security?
  • Business Value – In the Pharma industry for example, is information for clinical trials as well as compliance and regulatory agencies properly maintained? Can this data be managed more efficiently and securely?

Too often, companies make large technology investments as a way to fix their content management issues and are disappointed with the results. At Oracle, our experience has repeatedly shown that the best results begin with strategy and end with implementing technology.

Oracle Consulting Solutions begins by creating Best Practice Content Management business processes. Once the processes have been refined, we document governance and oversight procedures that will enforce consistency and provide transparency. The final step is to automate the strategy using technology.

Quality control is just as critical in the content management process as it is in manufacturing. Content that is properly created, approved, stored, and reused reduces risk, streamlines business processes, and speeds the dissemination of accurate information to all stakeholders.

Oracle Consulting has the experience and capability to implement the following examples of content management best practice recommendations for Healthcare clients:

1. Data Retention and Recovery: Institute archiving at all stages of the content management life cycle, including creation, acquisition, cataloging/identification, storage, preservation and access. In light of HIPAA legislation and FDA regulations, this is a critical issue for biotech companies.

  • Map all of the integrations to other systems to automate information exchanges
  • Capture metadata at the source
  • Be proactive in minimizing "free range" data and information – consider all content in a data retention program.

2. Content Security and Digital Rights Management: Establish comprehensive security policies and dedicated teams responsible for proactively monitoring information systems/content to identify and respond to any suspicious activity. Protecting your brand and ensuring that company’s intellectual property is being protected is also a crucial security point. This becomes increasingly complex when dealing with organizations outside a company’s network (universities, hospitals). Consider three categories of security:

  • Security of Network
  • Preventing unauthorized usage of brands and/or inaccurate manipulation of IP content
  • Authentication of users via Active Directory(AD) or LDAP - may include single sign on (SSO)
  • Access control inside the repository to various objects is accomplished by Access Control Lists (ACLs)

3. Enterprise Search and Analytics: Capture content classification, categorization and clustering, fact and entity extraction, taxonomy creation and management, and information presentation as content is created.

  • Determine a standard taxonomy for content and implement it across new and existing content to vastly increase global “findability”.

4. Existing Content Management System Enhancements: Increase ROI from an existing content management system installation by reviewing implementations and enterprise content business processes once a year with a qualified implementation partner.

  • Explore additional ECM offerings like customer experience management, digital rights management, and search functionality as some examples to optimize ROI.

5. M&A Activity Creating Disparate & Redundant Systems: Selecting and maintaining the most efficient technologies when legacy systems and data must be merged is best determined in a thorough content management strategy review.

  • Evaluate all current enterprise content management technologies and determine their effectiveness as driven by business users.
  • Consolidate redundant ECM systems to save resource hours for training and annual maintenance costs.
  • Keep interfaces easy to use for fast adoption. User Interface/Experience (UI/UX) design, including website design and development, custom application development, and usability testing address these issues while ensuring that an organization’s brand and corporate identity are accurately reflected across all content.

6. Globalization: As healthcare organizations operate on a global scale, they expose themselves to increased opportunity as well as risk. To maximize the former and reduce the latter, delivering accurate, reliable, consistent content in multiple languages is critical. Building localization and translation into a content deployment and product launch timeline ensures a quality product and reduces risk.

  • Establish and maintain a glossary and style guide of common terms, especially product names, including their translated form.
  • Establish an ongoing relationship with an experienced Consulting Solutions provider to speed delivery on content deployment and localization projects.


Content management strategies enables organizations in the healthcare industry to leverage the power of their corporate knowledge, optimizing access across numerous systems, repositories, and networks to create the conditions for search, classification, navigation, and collection of deliverables along the entire information lifecycle. Implementing a comprehensive content management strategy helps healthcare organizations:

  • Communicate the correct information to all key stakeholders – employees, patients, scientists/researchers, physicians, clinical trial sites and participants, regulatory agencies, shareholders, and more.
  • Maintain rigorous privacy and proprietary practices between expanding networks and databases across a global enterprise
  • Archive critical data securely while controlling access
  • Implement and update technology systems to streamline processes and improve workflow
  • Enable content “findability” across the enterprise.

Contact: Matt Thornton, Senior Director
(972) 897-3952

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Comments ( 4 )
  • guest Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    Good article and highly relevant information. Love the new Future State site too. Looking forward to reading more.

  • adam Tuesday, July 14, 2015

    good article and useful information

  • rubel Tuesday, July 14, 2015

    very useful information.thank you.

  • guest Thursday, July 23, 2015

    The article with useful information.Keep on posting about this more.

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