American College of Physicians

Uniting content, enabling collaboration, and customizing the search experience

The Organization

American College of Physicians Association is a diverse community of internal medicine specialists and subspecialists united by a commitment to excellence.

Over 150,000 members use the scientific data from the website and use ACP’s information to gain expertise in specific diagnosis’ and treatment. It’s a community to share new studies and information so that specialists can apply the preeminent knowledge to a patient’s situation or for educational purposes.

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Philadelphia, United States
  • Autocomplete
  • Faceted Navigation
  • Synonyms Tool
  • Related Searches
  • Promoted Results

In A Nutshell

With content spread throughout multiple structured documents, for example, medical journals as well as more undeveloped information like pages and documents, it’s critical that valuable knowledge is easily accessed. Switching from a Google Product to Funnelback, The America College of Physicians found a more robust search platform delivered functionality beyond basic search to drive member satisfaction and empowered the ACP team to have greater control of the search experience.

“Search has, to some extent, become an invisible-- yet powerful -- driver of positive user experience rather than a last resort or worse, an inhibitor.” - Neil Kohl

The Situation

Project Details

Finding a platform that could unite various formats and sources of information while also being completely user-friendly was the challenge for the ACP web team. “Search is a critically important component of delivering an optimal user experience,” says Steve Spadt. They needed to be able to have a fully customizable platform and also collect meta-data in one search application. Medical search is difficult to execute because of the dissonance between common vernacular and the jargon found in medical documents.

When they discovered Funnelback, the web team worked with our specialists to crawl over their digital content libraries. Their non-technical staff was now able to play a role in managing search, calling out the importance of creating new synonyms for acronyms and jargon that was not available previously.

“Search is a critically important component of delivering an optimal user experience.”

Looking for a Google Alternative

When Google decided to discontinue GSA (Google Search Appliance), it proved the perfect time to upgrade the search function on the website. ACP desired a robust search to account for medical jargon, abbreviations and acronyms. They wanted more than just inferred structure that GSA provided, rather they wanted to be able to easily define the structure to optimize the organization’s website and provide the most accurate information.

“GSA … had limited ability to customize the search experience and result ordering.”

When choosing a new solution, they were disappointed with the lack of functionality and usability until they found Funnelback.

“Many [competitors] fail to provide separate administrative interfaces for technical and non-technical users, which given the scope of our needs and the breadth of our staff, is a necessary feature.”  - Neil Kohl

The Solution

User Experience and Customizable Search: Solved

The most important goal for ACP was to ensure search could access all types of metadata across broad collections while being able to control results and ranks. Funnelback was able to crawl structured and unstructured data to unite all relevant content in a single search, making it easy for the ACP team to manipulate and promote results in Funnelback Marketing Dashboard.

“We've developed a 4,000+ term thesaurus for common medical acronyms, drug trade, and generic names, and our own corporate abbreviations”, reports Steve Spadt.

The Result

The web team is now able to provide an improved user experience to all members and web visitors. The team is now seeing far fewer complaints and far more compliments regarding the quality of search results. With technical and non-technical users able to play a role in the search, they are able to monitor zero-match terms, common misspellings, search and facet usage. Kohl reports the team is now seeing “far fewer complaints and far more compliments regarding the quality of search results.”

“Funnelback is big enough to have sufficient resourcing to invest in continual improvements to a remarkably powerful and well-engineered platform, yet small enough to get to know each customer.” Steve Spadt