Integrating Healthcare Technology for a Digital Transformation

We worked with ChenMed to form a unique partnership between Marketing, IT, Sales, HR, and Leadership driven by technology.

ChenMed case study


Reinventing what digital services delivery can mean for a large organization spread across the country


Full-service digital solutions, re-platforming and integrating numerous business systems


Operational efficiencies, technology integration, and digital maturity impacting the business at every level

ChenMed logo

ChenMed is a physician-led, family-oriented organization committed to bringing superior, dignified, and well-coordinated healthcare to moderate-to-low-income seniors. With 50 medical facilities across the United States, thousands of employees, patients, and patient family members, ChenMed has an immense need for effective digital products and services to operate its business efficiently. They needed help from a vendor they could trust to create a strong foundation.

From Quick Fixes to Strategic Advisor

Our relationship with ChenMed began the same way so many of our client engagements begin: they needed immediate assistance with a technical website issue. What followed was also quite similar to many of our client relationships: it grew into a highly collaborative and effective long-term partnership, yielding significant breakthroughs for ChenMed during a time of rapid growth.

We often hear clients say they’ve been told their need or vision isn’t possible. In ChenMed’s case, they had a relatively simple issue at first: fixing a carousel in their Drupal 7 website. They were told that what they wanted wasn’t possible. Fast forward to an introduction to COLAB and we were able to complete it for them quickly and efficiently.

Happy with the results, ChenMed had a number of other problems they needed us to solve. COLAB got to work and before long, ChenMed began asking us to tackle larger scopes of work and full-on digital projects. COLAB had gained their trust and respect by doing exactly what we promised, on time and on budget.

After demonstrating our technical expertise for ChenMed, they wanted our opinion on more strategic opportunities they had. This changed the fundamental nature of our relationship — shifting from competent delivery team solving implementation issues to a strategic advisor and partner for all of their digital needs. One of the first strategic tasks we undertook was to audit their entire ecosystem of websites and make a recommendation for improving them. The sites were poorly built and difficult to use for both customers and administrators. ChenMed needed a more user-friendly solution.

A Genuine Digital Transformation

Mobile phone demos of the ChenMed site

Customer Experience

As we always do, COLAB focused its strategy on what the user experience should be, followed by what technical and design considerations should be made to achieve that outcome.

First and foremost, we wanted the ChenMed websites to be easy and intuitive for all users and their families, regardless of age. This is true for all of ChenMed’s brands: JenCare Senior Medical CenterDedicated Senior Medical Center and Chen Senior Medical Center. We thought through the fundamental user experiences for ChenMed’s customers: Is there a facility near me? How do I get there? Does it take my insurance? Who will be my doctor? We structured ChenMed’s messaging architecture and menuing to address the most pressing questions their customers have.

We then created a universal design system to ensure that all of their brands digital properties had a clean and consistent look and feel. Every part of their website ecosystem needed to be accessible and easy for seniors to use, and consistent style patterns ensured that.

Second, we wanted the management of the site to be consistent and accessible for all of the staff, including marketing, HR, sales and IT teams, who would need to update it, since the information must be kept up to date and accurate. We built a Drupal platform to manage and standardize their multi-website infrastructure. This enabled their web editing staff to have a common, intuitive, and highly improved website editing experience.

HR Management System Integration

ChenMed described to us the frustrations they were having with seemingly simple issues like posting available jobs for recruitment. They had scores of job postings for the various facility locations across the US. Each facility required its own local job listings but those postings also needed to be synced with ChenMed’s centralized HR system. COLAB suggested building an API for the HR system WorkDay to integrate with all of the various websites, allowing for only the jobs relevant to a specific location to be posted on that location’s website. This represented a significant operational efficiency for the company, saving their staff hours of unnecessary manual administrative work.

Call Center App

With all of the improvements to the website came an influx of new customers calling to inquire about visiting a facility. While this was a good problem to have, ChenMed’s call centers were suddenly inundated with calls and not able to manage the increased volume. One option would have been to simply scale the number of call operators but feedback from the call center indicated that a bigger problem was the amount of time each call took. Operators had to dig through various sources of information to answer the broad range of questions callers asked.

COLAB immediately recognized a solution to this problem. We could leverage their HR system WorkDay and patient-facing website content into a custom application displaying only the most important and relevant content. COLAB built the call center app to guide call center operators through the sequence of information they need to answer questions quickly and accurately based on the patient’s location, language and required care. This led to faster call turnover, highly improved call center productivity, happier patients, and less-stressed call center operators.

Part of the Team

In a relatively short period of time, COLAB became ChenMed’s digital team. Five to seven COLAB team members were working nearly full-time with ChenMed. We were virtually an extension their marketing team, meeting with them every other week. We instituted enterprise-level digital planning and roadmapping to support their business and marketing needs.

The work we delivered for ChenMed’s marketing team was so successful that we began meeting with their senior leadership to provide digital solutions more broadly for the entire company. We federated much of their data company-wide, opening up an array of technical solutions to inefficient business processes that were causing significant pains.

ChenMed began bringing members of the COLAB team to conferences with them to gain deeper insight into their business and industry. They wanted our participation in nearly everything related to digital that was happening within their company so that we could provide the most salient and innovative solutions. Another one of COLAB’s software integrations with their HR management system even powers the generation of their name badges!

This level of access, integration, and partnership allowed COLAB to think holistically about ChenMed’s business and how technology could be employed across the enterprise to make them more productive, more efficient, more profitable, and provide better services and experiences for their customers.

Salesforce-Powered Integrations

As COLAB learned more about ChenMed’s business and operations, we were able to provide significant insights into where technology could be applied to make their operations more effective and efficient, especially when it came to sales.

ChenMed had a concern that they were spending thousands of dollars annually sending mail to customers who sadly had passed away. ChenMed would receive the return notification through the mail but lacked the tools or process to update Salesforce with the new information. COLAB built ChenMed an intuitive intranet that was integrated with their Salesforce so that when staff received the return notice, they could quickly and easily update company records, including Salesforce.

COLAB also integrated Salesforce with the events management tools in ChenMed’s primary website so the sales team could connect lead nurturing data from event registrations to their Salesforce lead nurturing data.

Useful Sales Data

The ChenMed sales team had a lot of prospective customer data, but they didn’t have the tools to extract meaningful insights and make it as useful as it could be. COLAB approached the problem by using Tableau to explore data that had been stored in spreadsheets. We converted that data to Amazon Redshift and used an Amazon Lambda State Machine to sanitize the data. We were then able to overlay that data set on a map to create a visual tool for the sales team to see where the best sales opportunities existed in their market relative to churches and local community centers. This allowed ChenMed’s sales efforts to be far more targeted and productive.

COLAB modernized digital at ChenMed. I’d highly recommend them to any business.

Jess Timmerman
New ChenMed mock ups


COLAB and ChenMed developed a very unique, close partnership that was built on mutual trust and respect. The nature of this relationship brought out the best of what COLAB has to offer: innovation and thoughtful, thorough consideration of how technology and design can impact a business at every level of the organization, providing operational efficiencies and transformative results to the client.

Let us help.

If you have a project in mind or would like to know how we can help, please reach out. We’d love to hear from you.