When nurses need to find out the latest drug information—whether to verify a dose, check for possible interactions with other medications or side effects—many of them turn to the "Nursing Drug Handbook." Making sure this critical information is accurate and clearly presented is the task of nursing and medical publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), a unit of Wolters Kluwer Health, which produces the annual "Nursing Drug Handbook" as well as 4,000 other titles.
To streamline the process of publishing the 1,400-page "Nursing2006 Drug Handbook," LWW decided to switch from producing PDF pages using QuarkXPress to an XML-based publishing program. By doing so, LWW is cutting costs and avoiding recreating previously published documents. Its content can now be in several places at one time.
LWW would sometimes have to make editorial changes in as many as five places because of the use of multiple applications when producing content for several channels, according to Larry Bryant, LWW's director of content management processes. Since LWW repurposes content from the "Nursing Drug Handbook" into a "Drug Guide" and an electronic version for PDAs, the company felt that "Handbook" would be a logical choice for its initial trial of XML-based publishing.
"We saw how the market was changing in preparing and delivering content … moving away from print revisions to delivering content to different publishing channels in multiple formats," says Bryant, who was consulting for the company in mid-2003 when LWW decided on its pilot project.
LWW stores its content in XML in EMC Documentum's data repository and uses Arbortext's Epic Editor for editing the XML. The company is primarily a Windows environment, with some Macs used in the creative services departments.
LWW reviewed the capabilities of three XML publishing systems for six months, and chose XyEnterprise's XML Professional Publisher (XPP) because of its WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface and the ability to control XML data until the end of the publishing cycle. "We needed to be able to deliver content in smarter ways, and XML gives us the flexibility to deliver to our customers' needs," according to Bryant.