Natural Standard: Portal for Medical Practitioner’s Research and Reference

Natural Standard, a web-based reference support system for healthcare professionals, was founded by clinicians and researchers to provide high-quality, evidence-based information about complementary and alternative medicine and therapies (CAM). This international collaboration now includes contributors from more than 50 eminent academic institutions and is considered “[t]he best and most authoritative web site available on herbal medicines,” according to The World Health Organization (WHO).

Objectives: Natural Standard’s challenge was to implement a work flow supported by technical tools that would allow non-technical personnel to maintain the integrity of content throughout the development process.  An additional challenge was to organize content intuitively for users of the Natural Standard website.

Results: Gnaritas assisted Natural Standard in designing dynamic content organization and system architecture, taking into account the needs of both the website’s users and its authors. Users can quickly and easily find the information they need through multiple pathways. Documents are automatically cross-indexed by both condition and therapy type. Meanwhile, authors can concentrate their efforts on producing top-quality content, rather than on implementation details.

We developed an authoring process that integrates the work flow at Natural Standard with the site’s technology: authors enjoy the convenience of using MS Word to generate, edit, and review content, after which documents are automatically converted into a web-based format.