Mar 01, 2023

How Drupal can Ease the IT Pain in Healthcare

Divesh Kumar

Divesh Kumar

How Drupal can Ease the IT Pain in Healthcare

Recent innovations in the healthcare industry, such as wearable devices and real-time patient health-tracking applications, have sparked a wave of technological advancements. As a result, the industry increasingly relies on technological solutions to give people access to accurate and timely care.

A scalable, robust content management system (CMS) allows healthcare professionals to offer more services in less time, which is why Drupal has seen remarkable growth in the healthcare market in recent years.

Drupal Healthcare Applications

Several Drupal healthcare applications have benefits for both patients and healthcare experts:

  • Electronic health records: An EHR application enables the documentation, storage and sharing of detailed medical information among medical professionals. This facilitates diagnosis and treatment while keeping track of the patient’s medical history.

  • Medical facility websites: These sites feature all the information related to a hospital, such as doctor profiles, types of health services provided and ER waiting times.

  • Patient portals: In addition to enabling access to information similar to that found in an EHR application, patient portals also give users more control over their healthcare. They can do things like schedule appointments, message their doctors, view prescriptions and make payments.

  • Health & wellness apps: These are generally associated or paired with wearable technologies like fitness bands. They’re intended to help people enhance or track their overall health and habits, addressing physical, mental or emotional, social, environmental or spiritual aspects of life.

  • Hospital management systems: HMS websites are internal websites of a hospital that contain all patient data, from admission to discharge.

Why Is Drupal Right for Healthcare?

Drupal is an open-source platform — that’s one of the biggest advantages it has over any other CMS. It’s also flexible and robust, with a wide array of new features, making it the perfect platform for healthcare organizations.


Healthcare systems have been hesitant to use open-source CMS solutions because of concern over security and privacy issues. However, Drupal 8 and 9 provide extremely tight security, thanks to the Drupal community, where contributors come together to address vulnerabilities and breaches. The community strictly follows best-in-class coding practices and employs rigorous code-review processes.

External Integrations

Healthcare organizations require a fully integrated system that can handle the flow between multiple different IT systems. The scalability of Drupal architecture makes it the most flexible CMS with regard to third-party integrations. For instance, Drupal can handle multiple integrations from EHRs, patient portals, e-prescription portals, billing portals, etc. This improves the experience for both medical professionals and patients.

Multi-Site Management System

Healthcare systems typically have various departments, and every department has its own content types and functionality requirements. Maintaining these different websites on a centralized codebase can present many challenges, but Drupal provides consistency while facilitating easier content sharing between the websites and enabling each site to have varied functionality. Content editors can create microsites and publish content to multiple sites.


Healthcare websites must be accessible to a wide range of audiences, including people who have physical disabilities. (According to the World Health Organization, about 15% of the world’s population has some form of physical disability.) Drupal’s flexible theming system allows it to meet all the requirements in Section 508 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Drupal also offers multilingual features that can be used in developing location-based, language-specific websites, and its mobile-first design approach makes the websites accessible to a whole array of devices. Several responsive themes are available that ensure compatibility among various devices.

Success Stories in the Healthcare Market

University of Missouri Healthcare

MU Healthcare is an academic health center that comprises five hospitals and nearly 60 primary and specialty-care clinics. It has about 6,000 employees and serves 200,000 patients every year. In addition, the medical sciences institute educates at least 1,000 students every year.

Operating on an outdated CMS, the MU Healthcare website wasn’t providing a good digital experience for users or content authors. The MU healthcare team migrated its website to Drupal with Acquia Cloud, which provided flexible templates that addressed the issues.

The revamped Drupal site drastically increased patient engagement, generating a 442% increase in “Make an Appointment” page views and, in turn, increasing online appointment requests. MU Healthcare also saw a 4% increase in search traffic and a 13% decrease in bounce rate.

Steward Healthcare

Steward Healthcare is a community-based organization with 10 hospital campuses, 24 affiliated urgent-care providers, 17,000 employees — and more than 4 million patient encounters a year.

Before switching to Drupal, its website provided a poor customer experience, and 89% of its webpages were never visited. In a survey of about 2,000 patients, Steward’s team learned that about a third of their patients prefer to use mobile devices to connect with health care providers and make appointments.

Drupal enabled Steward to streamline its content, incorporate more video, and build a mobile-friendly website. This resulted in a 112% increase in unique visitors across the ecosystem.

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