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How do you merge three standalone hospital websites into one comprehensive system site — during a pandemic? In 2020, Rush University System for Health (Rush) and Centretek partnered to do just that. An integrated content strategy that puts consumer choice first and provides seamless access to a full range of care options was key to delivering an online experience that brings the Rush brand to life. Since launch, the new site has seen significant increases in traffic and engagement. Year-over-year site visits are up 40% and appointments scheduled online are up 200%.

“Under the previous website model, the services offered across Rush University Medical Center, Rush Oak Park Hospital and Rush Copley Medical Center remained separate,” said Ryan Nagdeman, associate vice president for marketing, Rush University Medical Center, who oversaw the integration of sites. “Not only does the new wed together our hospitals’ services and programs, it also provides a unified approach, increasing consumer options for access to the excellent health care providers and services available from Rush University System for Health.”

“This has been an incredibly rewarding undertaking,” Nagdeman said. “The groundswell of support from internal and external partners has been inspiring as we pushed this project over the finish line during an incredibly challenging time for hospitals around the globe. I could not be prouder of our team and more thankful to our many partners.”


UX Design Process Highlights

  • Broad stakeholder and consumer engagement
  • Consumer engagement: web survey and follow-on interviews
  • Analytics research and data analysis
  • Extensive audience personas and journey mapping and development
  • Usability testing and reverse card sorting (tree testing)
  • Information architecture and navigation
  • Comprehensive content inventory and audit
  • Content strategy, content templates, and content creation
  • Interactive wireframe development and UX testing (in Axure)
  • Interactive visual design prototypes (in Invision)
  • Style guide and component library creation

Development & Implementation Process Highlights

  • Built with Drupal on the Acquia Cloud.
  • Agile development approach using with 2-3-week sprint releases
  • Uses external data integrations for physician profiles and location listings. This page provides an example of presenting external data pulled in real-time (locations and doctors) –
  • Extensive use of structured data to support SEO and voice search optimization.
  • Lightweight content personalization to provide a persona-based utility navigation menu.
  • Rush Stories provides a consolidated content marketing section to showcase health & wellness articles, press releases, social media feeds, patient stories, and videos.
  • Uses adaptable content templates designed to ensure consistency and usability across condition, treatment, service line and program pages.
  • Used GatherContent to facilitate content template development, writing, review and migration. The Centretek team handled all aspects of GatherContent setup and implementation, and provided GatherContent training and documentation to the Rush team. We also built a custom importer to automate migration of new and existing content from GatherContent to Drupal.


Marie Mahoney, senior director of web and marketing communications, Rush University Medical Center, points to the site’s focus on the patient as the driving philosophy behind the design of “We’ve organized the site around the needs of patients: what they’re looking for and how they look for it,” Mahoney said. “The new website combines the Rush University Medical Center, Rush Copley and Rush Oak Park web presences, balancing the strength of our national brand with the uniqueness of our individual locations.” 

Consumer Experience Highlights

  • Leverages a strategy and approach to manage digital and web consolidation to support health system integration – including aligning operations/resources to support and complement one digital Rush brand (doctor directory, access center, class/event registration, patient portal alignment, e-newsletter platform, etc.)
  • Uses a consumer-first content strategy to equitably promote clinical services to support health system integration
  • Features accessible content written in Rush’s voice and tone — including over 80 pages developed by Centretek and hundreds of others developed by writers Centretek coached through the process
  • Provides online tactics and strategies to improve patient access and streamlined paths to care
  • Healthcare choices and access are now easier with the new Rush On Demand offering (“Get Care Now”). It is a guided experience that starts with a “Google-like” condition search and matches consumers and patients to a range of solutions at Rush from high-tech (messaging, video visits) to high-touch (clinic visit) with self-scheduling options.
  • Appointments facilitated via web-based options, were up ~200%.

More information on this project and site launch:

Trusted Partners.

Centretek and Rush have a long history of partnering to deliver innovative, consumer-friendly websites and award-winning digital experiences.

The previous Rush website that launched in 2014 was recognized with numerous industry awards including Best Overall Website and Best Annual Report from the annual eHealthcare Leadership Awards. After Centretek launched Rush’s first Drupal website they experienced a 58% increase in online appointment requests that resulted in 800+ additional net new patients (compared to prior 12 months).

Centretek also supports Rush’s other digital properties including Rush University (, Rush Children’s Hospital (, and Rush Cosmetics (

Rush University Website Screenshot