Formed by a merger of two regional systems in 2018, Ballad Health is a multi-state health system that serves parts of Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky. They operate a family of 21 hospitals, as well long-term care facilities and outpatient locations.

Their flagship website, balladhealth.org, was on Drupal 7, whose end-of-life date was growing uncomfortably closer. Since migrating to the latest version of Drupal would essentially require a rebuild, Ballad Health decided it was also a good time to make design improvements to some key areas of the site.

Using UX, SEO and Analytics Audits to Guide the Project

We had previously worked with Ballad Health to integrate the Find a Doctor feature into their site. While doing that project, we had the chance to set up analytics for the first time. We were able to mine this data to learn how their patients were interacting with the content.

Along with a UX audit, this data helped us prioritize which areas of the site to focus on. We also did an SEO audit, which surfaced some key findings—such as the fact that Ballad Health wasn’t taking advantage of provider reviews.

Finally, we created distinct patient personas. This helped us guide and prioritize the messaging, and help Ballad Health move away from trying to message different audiences in the same place.

"Although the original ask was all about updating to the latest version of Drupal, we wound up helping Ballad Health improve their digital customer experience—by using an iterative, data-driven design process."

Streamlined, CTA-Focused Web Design

We redesigned the home page for balladhealth.org, making tweaks to the navigation that helped the different audiences know where to look. (Before, calls-to-action for employees were mixed in with consumer content.)

We revamped some key areas of the site, including medical services and classes/events (since the data told us these were highly-trafficked areas). In addition, we pulled in Press Ganey provider reviews, which helps the site gain SEO traction.

We also redesigned the workflow around locations, making it more intuitive and easier for existing and prospective patients to search. We added strong calls-to-action throughout the site, increasing the opportunities for visitors to engage with the site, versus be passive consumers of information.


Development Highlights

We made several improvements on the development side for balladhealth.org, including:

  • Moving from Drupal 7 directly to 9. We built some things new in 9 and migrated other items to 9. By taking this approach, we were able to skip 8 altogether and be more efficient.
  • Integrating Phynd into their Find a Doctor functionality. They migrated and cleaned the data, and then we pulled it into Find a Doctor.
  • Integrating Phynd into the location workflow, so that providers and locations track together.
  • Adding analytics, so they can do AB testing and use the data to make sound business decisions for the organization.


Although the original ask was all about updating to the latest version of Drupal, we wound up helping Ballad Health improve their digital customer experience—by using an iterative, data-driven design process.

We understand that healthcare systems can’t always replatform and redesign all at once. Often, they are driven by more practical measures and need a solution ahead of a ticking clock. Because we know how to work smart and make the most of the insights that data provides, we can solve both their ticking-clock problems and their digital customer experience problems.


W3 Award

  • Website - Health Care Services
  • Website - Best Structure and Navigation
  • Website - Best Home Page

Web Award

  • Website - Health Care Services

Web Excellence Award

  • Website - Health Care Services

Digital Health Award

  • Website