Sansum Clinic

Content Management System

Company details change frequently at Sansum as new physicians are recruited, older physicians retire, new branch locations open and specialty departments offer new services and technology. The website must be updated frequently to reflect these developments. Self-sufficiency in managing the website is key for the Director of Marketing, Jill Fonte and her four-person marketing team.

"Visus lived up to our request that this project not be a burden on our IT department," Fonte says. "They deployed an intuitive content management system on the backend that enables my team to easily update the site and add new content without technical expertise. It’s valuable for us to be autonomous and have control over this vital communication hub."


Sansum Clinic is the oldest and largest non-profit outpatient healthcare provider on the California Central Coast with over 200 doctors in over 30 specialties. Sansum serves 130,000 unique patients and has 800,000 patient visits per year. Providing exceptional medical care since 1921, Sansum attributes its longevity to its ongoing investments in the latest equipment and technology and its recruitment of the best and the brightest physicians.

Technology not only plays a key role in the quality of care Sansum delivers but also in the way the healthcare leader interacts with the patient community. Sansum's website is its main communication channel with its patients, making it a crucial component to the success of the organization. Patients depend on the site to help them make important decisions about their healthcare and to educate themselves about doctors, services offered, availability, locations, contact information and more.

Until recently, Sansum used a packaged website solution that was difficult for visitors to navigate and cumbersome for staff to update or customize. Company leaders recognized they needed a technology provider that could modernize this important aspect of their business to provide a better experience for current and new patients.

Sansum engaged Visus LLC to design and build a new website based on the unique requirements of the healthcare provider and its patients. The solution includes an intuitive enterprise level content management system (CMS) that allows Sansum's marketing staff to easily make changes to the site without the need for technical expertise or help from technology professionals.

Modern Technology Drives Patient-Centered Online Experience

Visus begins every technology project with a discovery and design process. This critical design phase includes application design sessions where all aspects of the solution and functionality are discussed and reviewed, including future needs. "The discovery process was fantastic," says Jill Fonte, director of marketing at Sansum Clinic. "The Visus team led meetings where we methodically analyzed each element of the website in detail so we could make conscious decisions about every function."

The Visus team is very process-oriented. The communication was always clear and everything was well documented. We knew what to expect throughout the project – from discovery, through the proposal development and budget process, to technology deployment.
– Jill Fonte, Director of Marketing, Sansum Clinic

Visus used the Telerik Sitefinity content management system to create a modern website that leverages best practices for design and responsiveness on all platforms including smartphones and tablets. "Working with Visus was an extremely collaborative process that gave us a better understanding of what we needed," Fonte says. "Visus helped us maintain our focus on the patients' perspective and the user experience."

Visitors to the new website can easily search for information about specialties, providers, and medical services. They can learn about doctors and quickly see which physicians are available in their area. Intuitive menus allow patients to filter searches by location, language, specialty and more. Doctor profiles on the site provide biographical information, pictures, and videos to help patients make decisions and build trust. Site visitors can also browse patient testimonials and upload their own stories about their experience with Sansum.

Fonte says the simple navigation, ability to easily find information, and cohesive look and feel across all aspects of the website helps Sansum provide peace of mind for its patients. "We want to alleviate fears that healthcare is overwhelming and difficult to navigate," she says. "The experts at Visus enabled us to offer a user-friendly website that reflects the nature of our organization as patient-centered and accommodating."

Working with Visus is a true partnership. They helped us understand our needs and they stayed with us through all changes and customizations even after the project was complete and we moved into a phase of fine-tuning the functionality.
– Jill Fonte, Director of Marketing, Sansum Clinic

Sansum hired Seattle-based business strategy firm Confluence Digital to evaluate the success of the project. Confluence tracked pre and post website re-launch metrics to gauge the quality of visitors and their level of engagement with the site. The assessment revealed a 248 percent increase in visitor goal completion (18,546 in 3 months on the old site vs. 64,602 in 3 months on the new site.) Goal completion was defined as visitor activities on the site that indicate intent in contacting Sansum Clinic for their healthcare needs. Eric Layland, founder and president of Confluence Digital says, "The quality of engagement is quite a bit higher. The site is delivering a better user experience and visitors are taking the kind of actions we want them to."

Intuitive Tools Streamline Site Maintenance

Visus customized Sitefinity to create widgets and templates that enable the marketing team to drag and drop blocks of content that are automatically formatted with the appropriate layout. Using these intuitive tools, Fonte's staff can easily and efficiently create and manage doctor profiles and patient testimonials, manage an online calendar with information about things such as classes and events, and make changes to site content. New and edited content is always presented in a consistent style on the site, even if various users input information differently.

Sansum also has Distinguished Specialty Centers such as the Laser Eye Care Center. These specialty centers are represented as micro websites with secondary navigation and menus that are also very easy to manage from the backend using the customizations that Visus developed. The solution automatically formats content so Sansum's corporate branding is maintained across all aspects of the business and site visitors have a cohesive and site visitors have a cohesive experience.

Sansum has grown organically for almost 100 years to meet the needs of the community, adding satellite clinic locations, specialty facilities and care centers. "There is an initiative to unify our look and branding from both the brick and mortar perspective as well as our marketing so patients can expect the same experience from Sansum Clinic throughout," Fonte explains. "To carry our website through with our advertising and social media and give it all a cohesive look has dovetailed nicely with that clinical initiative."

This consistent experience is sustained on mobile devices. That’s important because more than 50 percent of Sansum's website visitors connect using a smartphone or tablet. "The responsive website that Visus designed and developed has been an absolute game changer for us," Fonte says. "It enables patients to interface with us in a way that fits their lifestyle so they can easily get the information they need."

Visus is good at being problem solvers on our behalf. If we come to them with a request, they never say no we can’t do that. They’ll figure out a way to do it.
– Jill Fonte, Director of Marketing, Sansum Clinic

Fonte says company leaders at Sansum confirm the value of having a scalable website solution that can meet the ongoing needs of the organization and its patients. "Working with Visus has been an excellent experience," she concludes. "They partnered with us to deliver user-friendly technology that expands with our business without the need for technical expertise on our end. Feedback from patients and staff is overwhelmingly positive."

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