Discovery Stories

ERIS Research Computing Core Portal

Your one stop shop for Epic Help and Information Systems (IS) project information at BWH.

The Brigham Health IS (BHIS) team wanted to create a “one-stop-shop”, information portal where Brigham Health staff could find information on all IS initiatives, including Epic, Office 365 and mobile computing initiatives. The content on the portal would be robust and would include everything from Epic enhancements and tips and clinical safety alerts to training information and IS support news. 

In December, the portal was launched. This site is full of helpful tips, tricks, training, videos and more. Information is targeted by role, i.e. physician, nurse, administrative, and a robust search engine allows users to quickly find topics of interest.  

Project Highlights

Web Developer Josh and Alissa, Project Manager, worked closely with the BHIS communication team to understand the scope and requirements of the website design from both a business and technical standpoint. “We had visually mapped out what we wanted on the site and how it should function,” explained Sally Carlson, Senior Manager of Communications and Training with BHIS. “We needed development help to bring our vision to life.” is a WordPress site with a custom-designed theme built by the Research Computing Core based on BHIS requirements. is hosted on ERIS DIPR environment using the web hosting service maintained by ERIS. is designed to be a modern, adaptive, device-aware website, responsive to whatever device, mobile or desktop, it is viewed on. “We knew that the site would have a lot of content and one of our core requirements was a powerful search engine,” explained Brent Herrera-Durr, Project Specialist at BHIS. Since this was a Wordpress site, a standard search could not handle the requirements set forth by the BHIS team. This is how Josh tackled the challenge:

"After some research I found that Elasticsearch could be a drop-in replacement for WordPress search. Elasticsearch needs its own server to run on, separate from the WordPress web server. Elasticsearch indexes the WordPress site and associates an HTML element with the keyword. Elasticsearch allows the end-user to assign priority to the HTML elements.  

For example: 
The end user may want the title <title>Keywords</title> of the page to appear in search results ahead of content within a paragraph <p>Keywords</p>.  That characteristic allowed me to create logic with PHP to generate unique Elasticsearch queries dynamically. 

Elasticsearch ranks search results by tracking user clicks.  Conversely, we can write queries that return results with the most popular on top."

Elasticsearch is a very advanced search technology, that lives on its own server/system, and can be integrated into new and existing WordPress and Drupal websites.

About the Research Computing Core

Our team of developers and software engineers can assist with web development, focusing on using PHP, Java, and modern web technologies like Drupal and WordPress. The Research Core team provides consulting and technology services to researchers and their project teams at competitive hourly rates. The Core collaborates with users on finding efficient solutions using technology for the unique needs of research environments. Contact for a free consultation.