Solving complex problems with design thinking.

Thomas Jefferson University encourages greater communication for students and the community through Adobe cloud solutions.


Encourage medical students to find new ways to solve complex healthcare issues

Reach the public through web experiences and apps with consistent messaging

Deliver more relevant information to students, patients, staff, and members of the community


Improves storytelling skills to help medical students become more creative problem solvers

Uses highly visual content and creative tools to communicate with the community

Delivers consistent experiences across channels by using a single source for all content

Better understands patients and students to help them find the content they need quickly

Improving healthcare through communication

Good communication is important in all fields, but it’s especially critical in the field of medicine, where communication can help doctors draw out patients’ concerns or help explain medical options. Today, many patients expect that important information will be communicated to them visually. This can range from websites that are designed to help patients quickly find the information that they need, to brochures that use diagrams and charts to explain complex medical procedures.

Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) realizes the need for its students to understand creative and visual communication. The school offers a wide variety of studies in both scientific and artistic fields, including medicine, science, fashion, textiles, architecture, and engineering. No matter what the field, students need to learn to collaborate with co-workers, communicate important issues with customers or patients, and present information digitally. Students can see excellent communication in action through Jefferson Health, the University’s clinical arm, which uses its web portal to connect patients with doctors and health news.

With the three cloud solutions from Adobe — Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Experience Cloud, and Adobe Document Cloud — TJU is transforming how it works, teaches, and communicates in the digital age. Adobe Creative Cloud is helping to transform the classroom with a focus on communication and problem-solving skills. Staff then use Adobe Creative Cloud apps along with Adobe Experience Cloud solutions to create fantastic digital experiences for patients and the public across websites, mobile apps, email, and kiosks. Using Adobe Document Cloud, faculty and administrators can digitize paper-based workflows to create modern, efficient, and convenient processes.

“We want to continue to be on the forefront of our industry. Adobe is helping us create a transformative experience platform for our patients, students, and community,” says Neil Gomes, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at TJU and Jefferson Health. “We’re helping to bring healthcare into the digital age and provide better care and learning for everyone.”

“We want our students to find creative ways to solve complex health problems. Having Adobe Creative Cloud is a game-changer for us.”

Robert Pugliese

Director of Innovation Design and Managing Director of the Health Design Lab, TJU and Jefferson Health

Solving healthcare problems with creativity

Good design in healthcare can mean a lot of things: a smartphone app that reminds patients to take medication or an inviting hospital recovery room full of natural light. TJU decided to bring creative learning to the forefront by signing an Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) for Adobe Creative Cloud covering 7,800 students and 2,000 faculty and staff.

“The response to Adobe Creative Cloud has been fantastic,” says Matthew Ernst, Vice President Digital Services, Business Development, and Learning at TJU and Jefferson Health. “Although we’re just starting to promote Creative Cloud, we’ve already signed up 2,200 active users, with 54% coming from students and faculty in our health fields. Our faculty are excited to use Adobe Creative Cloud in the classroom as they prepare students for the digital age.”

At the Jefferson Health Design Lab, students learn to use Adobe Creative Cloud apps to improve their creative thinking skills and reimagine healthcare services, products, and spaces. Students frequently use Adobe InDesign for all types of projects, from designing presentations that explain a new medical workflow to creating infographics used in community outreach posters. Adobe Illustrator helps students create graphics used in the digital and print worlds, such as illustrating protein structures. Digital medical solutions are also becoming more common. Using Adobe XD, students can quickly prototype mobile apps or interfaces for medical devices.

“We’re trying to teach students the importance of communication, particularly visual communication, as this will help them better connect with patients and the community,” says Robert Pugliese, Director of Innovation Design and Managing Director of the Health Design Lab for TJU and Jefferson Health. “But teaching students to become better storytellers also helps students become better problem solvers. We want our students to find creative ways to solve complex health problems. Having Adobe Creative Cloud is a game-changer for us. Now that everyone has access to these powerful tools, we can encourage our students to become doctors and researchers who create the innovations that improve lives and save patients.”

“Implementing Adobe Creative Cloud across campus with the ability to leverage subscriptions on students, own computers and devices has created greater consistency and collaboration inside and outside of the classroom,” says Neil Harner, Assistant Professor and Program Director for M.S. User Experience & Interaction Design at TJU. “Since every student is working from the same version and within the same organization, students and faculty are redefining how they collaborate on their work asynchronously breaking down the walls of the studio classroom and creating a culture that better reflects industry.”

Reaching the community with healthcare across channels

TJU not only serves students, but also the larger community through Jefferson Health system. Using Adobe Creative Cloud together with Adobe Experience Cloud, TJU staff delivers fantastic digital experiences through its TJU and Jefferson Health portals.

Four years ago, TJU decided to transform its digital presence to create a consistent experience for students, patients, and members of the community across all channels. Whether people are looking at information on the website, through a mobile app, or at one of the Jefferson Health kiosks, they should find the same information and get the same great experience.

Using Adobe Experience Manager Sites, with little training, hundreds of content authors can quickly create everything from simple news items to interactive pages. Experience Manager integrates with other back-end platforms, allowing website visitors to donate, see physician ratings, and check appointment availability online.

Adobe Experience Manager Forms also allows content authors to easily create a way for people to communicate with TJU. People can use forms to sign up for seminars or ask for more information about TJU academic programs. These forms can be connected directly with back-end programs, such as Spectrum CRM, to ingest and organize incoming data so that recruiters can contact interested students or staff can access program leads or view surveys about an event.

All templates, assets, content, and even information such as seminar data are stored centrally in Adobe Experience Manager Assets for use across channels.

“We’re using Adobe Experience Manager Assets as a single source of truth for all data used across our digital channels,” says Robert Neff, Vice President, Digital Solution Development at TJU and Jefferson Health. “This provides a much better experience for our content managers because they only need to change content in one location. If they update details for a student event or add a new session of cancer support groups, that update is automatically propagated and updated across websites, mobile apps, kiosks, even our custom smart assistant voice channel.”

“One of the biggest benefits of Adobe Analytics is its ability to give us real-time, granular data even on very specific data sets. We can then tie this data back into Adobe Experience Manager to help us create more of the content that audiences are enjoying.”

Robert Neff

Vice President, Digital Solution Development, TJU and Jefferson Health

Connecting people with information they need

TJU continues to transform and continuously improve its digital experiences using Adobe Experience Cloud solutions. Working with Adobe Target, part of Adobe Marketing Cloud, content authors can test digital experiences to figure out what types of user interactions, workflows, and experiences work best for patients and students. For example, changing the order of links in a drop-down menu can help attract more prospective students by directing them to articles about how TJU students are changing the world.

In addition to testing these experiences, TJU is also starting to use Adobe Target to personalize experiences. Geotargeting helps direct patients to their closest urgent care location. Sites can provide different content depending on what type of device the viewer is using.

Adobe Analytics, part of Adobe Analytics Cloud, provides the real-time analytics that help TJU understand how audiences are reacting to the digital experiences. “One of the biggest benefits of Adobe Analytics is its ability to give us real-time, granular data even on very specific data sets,” says Neff. “We can then tie this data back into Adobe Experience Manager to help us create more of the content that audiences are enjoying. Eventually we’re hoping to use this data to adjust the site in real-time so that we can take advantage of opportunities as they happen. This would be impossible with most analytics solutions that give you results a day or even a week after the fact.”

TJU uses this understanding of visitors to power email campaigns through Adobe Campaign. Currently, TJU is also implementing Adobe Audience Manager, which will help create deeper audience segments for more targeted and relevant email campaigns.

To move from paper-based to electronic workflows, TJU is starting to roll out Adobe Acrobat Sign, the electronic signature solution within Adobe Document Cloud. The solution was widely used by Philadelphia University, which merged with TJU, where Acrobat Sign helped administrators create fully electronic and traceable workflows for enrollment, purchasing, supply chain approvals, and hiring.

“We see Adobe as a platform for innovation,” says Gomes. “Adobe Experience Cloud is helping us build a transformative patient experience that’s unlike anything most health systems have. By embracing Adobe Creative Cloud in our classrooms, we’re giving students a way to create value for themselves and their learning.”

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