Everyday, OneBlood is saving lives. As the nation’s third-largest blood bank, the not-for-profit organization provides donated blood to more than 200 hospital partners across multiple states. By the end of the decade, OneBlood’s goal is to deliver world-class transfusions with the latest technology and research – propelling it to one of the top five systems in the world. To achieve this growth while enhancing the donor experience, OneBlood needed a beautifully branded, dynamic website that empowered users with quick, reliable access to information during critical decision-making moments. The organization also required a web-based solution for donors to easily find locations and securely access their donation results and other sensitive medical information. The website had to ensure maximum uptime and high availability, especially during emergencies or unexpected traffic spikes.
OneBlood engaged Solodev to help evolve the digital customer experience for their donors. To start, the front end UX for their website needed a modern design that reflected a cohesive brand voice, intuitive navigation, and mobile responsive framework. But below the code, their aging website needed a complete overhaul to integrate with best-of-breed third-party applications and improve high latency performance issues.
Most importantly, the new website needed a content management system (CMS) that enabled their low-code/no-code marketing team to build custom landing pages, update blogs, and rapidly stage content with critical information and resources during an emergency. The new website also needed to meet the most rigorous security and governance requirements for protected health information (PHI), including HIPPA compliance. The regulatory challenges also included ADA accessibility, ensuring disabled users could use the website successfully – from page content to image tagging and even video captions.
In terms of hosting, Solodev recommended moving OneBlood’s entire website workload to the cloud with Amazon Web Services (AWS). In addition to trading CAPEX for OPEX and eliminating the need for managing expensive hardware, AWS would deliver a secure, scalable, highly available infrastructure that provided greater control over capacity. Additionally, AWS would provide best-of-breed redundancy, disaster recovery, and other cloud-based features and capabilities.
Using AWS CloudFormation, the Solodev DCX platform was provisioned in a matter of minutes. The scripted template automatically deploys all of AWS’ innovative services for a highly available digital experience, including security, servers, database, file systems, storage, and more. By leveraging AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Solodev configured OneBlood’s instances to quickly auto-scale capacity up and down as OneBlood’s computing requirements shifted with traffic. To ensure a secure hosting environment, Solodev utilized AWS Global Availability Zones to increase redundancy and fault tolerance by replicating data between various geographic regions.
To help manage OneBlood’s infrastructure, AWS OpsWorks provided a dynamic layer of management and orchestration for Chef recipes, enabling greater control over configuring and operating applications, installing software packages, and managing resources such as AWS S3 Storage. Solodev used Amazon RDS to set up, operate, and scale relational databases for OneBlood in the cloud, and also utilized AWS Cloudfront – a global content delivery network. By caching data through CloudFront, the delivery speed of OneBlood’s vast amount of donor data, videos, promotional material, locations, and other multimedia content reached new levels of performance. Amazon CloudWatch was also used to provide a comprehensive view of all AWS services in their architecture.
Handling digital blood data in a safe, secure manner was a significant challenge. To build a more streamlined solution, Solodev worked closely with HemaTerra – a global provider of donor lifecycle, supply chain, and experience management resources – to successfully integrate their API into OneBlood’s AWS infrastructure. While the functionality of the API was already extensive, Solodev and HemaTerra partnered to add rich, innovative features for capturing granular medical data and scheduling appointments at various geographic locations.
OneBlood also required heavy video integration to support their digital marketing strategy. Solodev customized a multi-platform solution that enabled their marketing team to create and distribute high-quality video content with unprecedented speed and efficiency. To help enhance their loyalty programs, Solodev also developed an online rewards portal for donors, allowing them to claim their donation rewards online, from movie tickets to gift cards and more. This simple gateway delivered greater choice and control for donors while eliminating waste – and saving OneBlood thousands of dollars.
The new OneBlood web experience was beautiful and easy to navigate – and made it possible to track and shape a donor’s journey from website to blood donation and beyond. The custom HemaTerra API integration gave donors simple yet secure access to their blood donation results, while the online rewards portal made it simple and cost effective to give back.
Prepared to Save Lives: The Pulse Nightclub Tragedy
Active shooter scenarios are becoming an all-too-normal occurrence in our world. In June of 2016, one of the nation’s worst mass shootings took place at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 49 people lost their lives and countless victims were hospitalized. In the hours following the attack, local hospitals implored the community to give blood, which was in short supply to meet the urgent need. OneBlood was ready to answer the call, and in the space of a few short hours, tens of thousands of local residents and other parties visited their website to search for donation centers and related information. Before long, the traffic ballooned by over 2700%.
By leveraging AWS auto-scaling technologies, OneBlood was able to rapidly provision additional servers to meet the unplanned surge. As a result, their website never went down – and willing donors were able to connect with the right information just in time. Additionally, OneBlood team members were able to use Solodev DCX to quickly update their website with up-to-the-minute details throughout the crisis. The outcome: OneBlood was able to deliver more life-saving blood supplies to hospitals – and help a community recover from an unthinkable tragedy.
Rare Blood, Rare Response: The Zainab Mughal Story
Sometimes, superheroes come in small packages. Such is the case with Zainab Mughal, a little girl with a huge heart and a rare blood disease. When it was discovered in 2018 that she was missing a common antigen that affects only 4% of specific ethnic populations, OneBlood sparked a global search to find blood donations to support her life-saving cancer surgeries.
Within days of running an inspiring, multi-channel marketing campaign that leveraged Solodev’s custom landing page capabilities, OneBlood saw a spike in traffic from across the globe. Leveraging AWS auto-scaling, they were able to meet the surge and capture vital form data – stored in Solodev DCX on AWS. This rapid scaling helped OneBlood identify a small pool of donors that have continuously provided blood for Zainab’s critical procedures such as bone marrow transplants. As of April 2019, the prognosis is positive – and Zainab is on the road to recovery. Together, Solodev and AWS are helping OneBlood save the lives of superheroes.
OneBlood is a not-for-profit organization that provides donated blood to more than 200 hospital partners and operates more than 80 donor centers across Florida, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.
Solodev, a leading provider of cloud-first customer experience innovation, powers digital transformation for developers, teams, and organizations of all sizes and across industries. Their flagship product, Solodev DCX, is the Digital Customer Experience (DCX) Platform for Amazon Web Services (AWS) – built from the ground up to leverage AWS’ unparalleled security, scalability, and redundancy. Recently named the leading High Performer in the G2 Grid for WCM for the sixth consecutive quarter, Solodev is a winner of the AWS “City on a Cloud” Challenge and has been listed on the Inc. 5000. An AWS Advanced Technology Partner with Competencies in Government, Education and Digital Customer Experience, Solodev products are available via enterprise terms, on the GSA Contract, or through self-service subscription on the AWS Marketplace. To learn more or sign up for a free account, visit www.solodev.com