RCPI Case Study

RCPI: A Transformative Healthcare Partnership


The Goal

The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) is a leading physician membership body, whose goal is to train, educate and continuously develop doctors for current and future world health needs.

With a powerful brand heritage dating back to 1654, RCPI faced an interesting challenge - harnessing and maintaining brand purity while addressing a number of ambitious commercial goals to drive the business forward.

These goals were, chiefly, to broaden international membership and promote engagement with the current membership, to drive profitability and growth across the business.

Discerning Digital’s initial role was to identify where and how digital could help RCPI achieve these goals and support its organisational KPIs.

Our Work: Strategy

Our first action was to assess RCPI’s existing digital infrastructure and conduct a thorough review of current capabilities, using a mix of:

  • Analytics review
  • Journey modelling
  • Quantitative research
  • Qualitative research

These insights informed the creation of a core digital strategy which used a data-driven, decision-making process to create a user-specific site plan.

To match RCPI’s international growth goals, it was clear that delivering a personalised experience for each user on the site, tailored to their relevant persona, was a core objective.
This would give users access to the ‘right’ content and options specific to their needs, streamlining and improving the current user process to remove or combine unnecessary steps, wrapped in a focused engagement design based on how users actually interact with the service.

To enable this experience, we identified a need for ground-breaking systems integration and work with RCPI’s existing third-party vendors to bring all elements together.

Our Work: Delivery

With the strategy in place, Discerning Digital was engaged to move to delivery and begin the implementation of the plan.

We built a new website which is lightweight yet powerful and takes a mobile-first approach, given the changing customer engagement behaviour, supported by a new CMS system that is simple to use for both customers and staff, flexible to be developed to meet specific requirements of the business and widely used across digital environments is needed.

The web solution we have designed will facilitate growth and change as the business expands in the next five years, allowing future partnerships to be added to the system without major rebuild work being required.


With complex transactions to carry out for thousands of members including course bookings, qualification conferments and payments, RCPI had a number of third party vendors serving these transactions through a maze of different platforms.

Integration between these systems was limited with no centralisation. We designed an entirely bespoke system, in the form of Data Hub.

Data Hub acts as a conduit to receive data from multiple third party services, process, clean and repurpose the payload in order to deliver it to other third party services in their own format.

The creation of Data Hub has transformed how RCPI processes and uses data, giving the client ownership of their own data processes and a one-to-one relationship with each vendor.

RCPI’s previous login processes were another area of transformational opportunity.

Previous vendors had insisted that the SSO implementation force users through multiple pages, each with data entry, in order for the authentication to work and that a login form embedded within the main website wouldn’t work.

For us, this wasn’t a good enough solution for our client or their users, and we invested in researching, designing and implementing the ability to login through an embedded form within the header of the website that still utilised the existing cross-vendor single sign-on service

Our solution was particularly innovative given that multiple vendors including the actual SSO provider had said what we achieved wasn’t possible.

Systems integration

Training and Culture

We’re firm believers that digital transformation is about much more than technology and a key part of our work with RCPI involved training and culture.

We delivered face to face training sessions for key team members from across the business, with practical sessions on using the new system but more importantly, moving the site and its content from an information portal to an active sales and marketing platform.


Commercial impact
Ownership of data


The Future

Entering our third year of this collaborative partnership with RCPI, a number of ambitious goals are in our sights, as RCPI continues its transformational journey.



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