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Content Clean Up on Aisle Five

Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH) is the nation’s largest owner of healthcare providers.


Make 100 different voices speak as one. Go.

Located in Nashville, Tennessee, CHS owns and manages over 137 hospitals and medical centers that serve pocket communities all over the place, from the middle of the Arizona desert to the furthest reaches of the Alaskan tundra. 

The company had been growing by acquisition for a while, and when we met, were just about to take control of 76 more facilities. Once we’d audited, systematized and created a template system for CHS’s couple-hundred-site web presence  (see Redesign, Times 137), the teensy matter of what to do with thousands of pages of content remained.

One of the problems with working on computers is that at the end of the week, it's hard to tell what has been accomplished. And as writers, sometimes it's hard for people to get a sense of just what the heck we do. This stack of paper is a living testament to the work. The cute baby is a necessary extra.


We went heads-down, planning how our writers could works with CHS's in-house copywriters and development team to migrate every site and re-write every page of custom content in four months.

While some of the information could be boilerplate and live very nicely on any of the sites, much of the service content (stuff like what kind of diagnostic imaging was provided or what each hospital's birthing suites looked like) was completely unique facility to facility.

For scale, that's what six reams of paper — the approximate amount of content we produced for CHS — looks like, next to a 3-year old child (Alice).


Lots of pages. Lots of progress.

Our solution included spinning up a den of writers and proofers, and tightly planning out the next 120 days in detail. We settled on an intense, overlapping schedule of three-week “sprints” — 15 hospital sites per group for 8 revolutions.


Overall, we realized, this whole project was about making complex information accessible and human—no matter the giant scale or the technical subject matter. And we achieved it.

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