Faced with the task of publishing the next edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, the staff at the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) realized that there had to be a better way to facilitate the updates to the content and distribution to a growing number of critical channels. In 2013, they turned their mind to Intelligent Content and enlisted the help of a team of professional technical communicators and information architects to devise a solution.
Over the past four decades, the AJCC has used traditional medical publishers to produce and distribute print versions of the manual and staging forms used by clinicians worldwide to stage all forms of cancer to determine treatment and predict patient outcomes. Every seven years, world-renowned physicians gather to evaluate the science and produce updates to the cancer staging manual. With the rapid developments in cancer research and increased prevalence of electronic health records, the AJCC realized that their business model had to evolve. They required more agile publishing capabilities than the traditional publishers could offer. They also needed more control over their content to fulfill delivery to a growing number of distribution channels.
Over the past year, the AJCC has transformed their content for the most prevalent forms of cancer using a specially-trained team of writers to improve upon the clarity and consistency of the information. This content sits on top of specialized DITA/XML allowing for sophisticated reuse and repurposing of the content. This session will present the business case for the Cancer Staging Content Transformation (CSCoT) project and discuss the wins and challenges of their Intelligent Content strategy.