Like any typical hospital, providence healthcare, a rehabilitation hospital in Toronto, has no shortage of information it needs to communicate to the public. This includes information about programs and services, fundraising, press releases, the history of the hospital and its values and mission, any changes in building accessibility or parking caused by renovations, even job postings.
All these are important to patients, their families and the community-at-large.
With all these information needs, and the emergence of the Web as a dynamic, vital communications channel, health care facilities such as Providence Healthcare are seeking an easy-to-use Web CMS (content management system) to manage this steady, diverse flow of information.
Toward that end, early last year, Providence Healthcare launched a Web site built on Ektron Inc.s CMS200 content management system. It was the first content management system that Providence had used, after running a static, externally hosted site built with Microsoft Corp.s FrontPage Web design tool.
"Two years ago we started to look at changing the Web site we had," said Beth Johnson, manager of corporate communications at Providence, whose duties include running the companys Web site. "We were having difficulties using [FrontPage] and making simple updates to the site when we had a real need for getting information to families. The tool was archaic and difficult to use for somebody who wasnt technical."
So Providence Healthcare turned to Fusion Interactive Inc., a Toronto-based company that specializes in helping client companies develop marketing and sales solutions, including Web sites and e-marketing campaigns. Fusion, in turn, enlisted the help of Ektron.
Fusion typically relies on Ektrons products for companies looking for Web CMSes. The reasons: ease of use and attractive price, according to Luis Vieira, director of business development at Fusion. Indeed, the CMS200 site license cost Providence Healthcare only about $3,000, he said.
"Providence needed something where they could just log on and update their content themselves and have different departments access it," said Vieira. He noted that once Fusion designed the site and linked it to the CMS, there was a very short learning curve required: Providence Healthcare employees could immediately start using the system to update the site.
Aiding in the process was the effort that Fusion made to understand how the information would be accessed, by whom and for what purposes.
"Fusion was an enormous help," said Johnson. "They came up with the initial design, and the options they gave us [for the design] were very much in line with what we were hoping to see. The design was very user-friendly. They understood who our audience was. The clientele we serve is an older population, so the site needed to be bold, fresh and colorful with a font size [that was] easy to read. And it had to be user-friendly for [patients] family members. We had a wide array of needs to serve our audiences, and Im pleased with how they helped us to meet those needs."
"The technical know-how we could pick up anywhere," said Michael Sianghio, network administrator at Providence Healthcare. "But Fusion added the value of understanding our needs and being able to address them."
The entire process of designing the site and getting it up and running took approximately eight weeks, according to Fusion representatives. Less than a week of that was required for implementation of the CMS200 system.