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« April 2014 »

Welcome to the New MPS Website

WELCOME to our new place. Below is some background on how it came to be, what we hope to achieve, and how you can help.

The Communications Committee and MPS staff have been working on developing a new website that would be more dynamic, useful, and interactive than the previous one.   Aso of today  it is still "under construction" to the extent that we have moved old content over wholesale, so some of it will need to be tweaked, reformatted to look better, etc.  Here are some of the points you should know about the new site.  The site was done by Xykon Consulting.

  • It uses an open source software program called Drupal.
  • It is designed to be flexible and easy to maintain.  I guess "easy" is a relative term, as for the administrators there still remains quite a learning curve to enable us to take full advantage of its potential.
  • It is dynamic, meaning that the main page that first opens will have content that we hope to change on a regular basis (news, member articles, new comments, etc).
  • You will need to log in to gain full access to all the content and features.  (If you are a member and don't yet have a login or lost it, you can call or email MPS to get it.)
  • It is our hope and expectation that members will write and contribute articles, news, and other information that they feel is important for their peers to be aware of.  This easy engaging of other members is what will make the MPS website one of the most valued member benefits we offer.  It will provide a tighter sense of community among Maryland psychiatrists and allow us to communicate and work together in a manner that has previously not been possible.  Thus, most of the content will not be written by staff, but by us.
  • Articles and other content can have an opening date and an expiration date, so that stale information (CME announcements for events that have already occurred, for example) is automatically removed at their proper times.
  • We can comment on other members' blogs,
  • You can subscribe to a story or to someone's blog so that when these are updated or commented on, you will receive an email telling you to come back and read the new content.
  • A calendar of events lists upcoming activities and meetings.
  • You can update your personal information, including practice-related info, such as what insurance you take and whether you are currently accepting new patients. These changes are fed directly into the Find-a-Psychiatrist feature, so that you can easily turn on and turn off referrals based on insurance participation, age group, diagnostic area, etc.  We expect this feature to be very popular with our members and with the public as well. 
These are just some of the exciting features of the new MPS website... MPS 2.0, if you will. Because of this rich, interactive set of features, we expect that many of our members will find themselves visiting the website several times per week, even daily, to get the latest news and info, and to voice their opinions on the issues of the day.  I hope that this member feature will be the straw that makes other Maryland psychiatrists who are not now members want to join us and increase our membership.
One thing that I think deserves some explanation is how content is organized.  It is not organized so much by where each content file is but by the "tags" or keywords used to tag a file with.  So, if I write an article about a hearing on Medicaid formulary use of SSRIs, I might tag this article with the following terms: Medicaid, legislation, formularies, antidepressants, SSRIs, managed care.  If there are certain tags that you are very interested in, you can even subscribe to these tags, so that you will get an email informing you each time someone publishes an article with that tag.  Of course, you can also search the whole website for your favorite terms (we currently have a rather simple search function, but expect to provide a more robust one soon).
I will be sending out, and posting under MY blog, some tips and How-to's over the next weeks.  For more free-wheeling discussion, head on over to the Forum to discuss what you like, what you hate, and what your are exceedingly thrilled about with our new changes.
Finally, I'd like to thank our staff, Kery Hummel, Meagan Floyd, and Heidi Bunes, for their tremendous energy, enthusiasm, support, and patience for this endeavor.   VJ Rao and Sumati Mathur and their colleagues at Xykon are responsible for the design.  We are hopeful that this will soon be the best District Branch website in the country.  Dinah Miller and Anne Hanson have also provided tremendous help and suggestions about our design and implementation.
Thank you for your help and feedback.  You can add your comments using the link below.
=Steve Daviss
=Chair, Communications Committee
PS: To get started adding your own blog, members can click on CONTRIBUTE to the left, then click on BLOG ENTRY.  Just add a title and the content, SUBMIT and you're done.  (You can skip the other stuff that is there unless you are feeling geeky today.)

 Revised and Posted April 23, 2010


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