The New South Wales Centre for Genetics Education has a remit to provide health professionals with the skills and knowledge to manage the impact of genetic and genomic technologies and research on their practice. 30 years ago genetic counselling did not exist as a profession in Australia. Now their website must be a critical delivery tool to allow the Centre to engage with their various stakeholders by providing extensive educational resources such as research publications, policies, guidelines and other information in this rapidly evolving and exciting area.
The Centre now has an extended charter to widen their education scope which includes:
First trimester screening: GP online education program
Telehealth video training
Decision aid for men with family history of prostate cancer
However, this level of service required of the website had grown well beyond the capabilities of what was available. Speaking in January this year Professor Kristine Barlow-Stewart, director of the Centre explained the vision of the NSW Genetics Service was to use its specialist knowledge and expertise to reduce the incidence of disease, delay onset and reduce the impact. Success in pursuing this vision will also significantly reduce the total cost of associated healthcare to both NSW and its community. So the stakes are high and a new site capable of supporting these ambitions had to be created.
As an example of changing attitudes and requirements, Angelina Jolie’s recent announcement about having a preventive mastectomy has had a worldwide impact in raising awareness of inherited predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer.
This may result in an increase in the number of women seeking information about risk reducing mastectomy and genetic testing for a faulty BRCA gene. NSW Health’s Centre for Genetics Education Acting Director Kate Dunlop said “Many people have someone in their family who has or had cancer. It is important to be aware that only a small percentage (up to 5%) of certain types of cancers are due to an inherited faulty gene.”
The new site is critical in supporting the overall vision by:
· Reaching and engaging all its audiences – healthcare professionals in and beyond geneticists as well as individuals and families seeking information and advice.
· Ensuring that the range of information available is quick and easy to find
· Providing the enhanced services with a refreshed branding without losing its current look and feel that is familiar to the current user base.
The new site, developed and implemented by PretaGov addresses all of these issues by creating a solution that combines a feature rich CMS based on the Plone open source technology. This approach allows the Centre to both get the best in features, hosting and support as well as to be highly cost effective. One ‘stand-out’
The result is a ‘leading edge’ technological environment that supports the Centre for Genetics Education in its vision whilst also being extremely good value for money when compared to bespoke systems built on proprietary software and hosted in-house. It frees up time allowing staff to concentrate on publishing the research and teaching content required by the professionals they serve. Individuals can find out the key information they need quickly and easily.
Ends. For further information please contact
Australia: Virginia Choy
Tel: 02 8081 9072
John Pickles: General Manager, PretaGov Ltd.
Tel: 08703 927071
References: Centre for Genetics Education http://www.genetics.edu.au/