Sitefinity CMS Delivers Responsive User Experience to Lakeland Health Customers
Lakeland Health is the leading provider of health services in southwest Michigan, serving 80% of the region’s 140,000 people. The organization takes its leadership role in the community seriously, continually striving for excellence. In 2013 and 2014 it received the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award, putting it in the top 10% of US hospitals achieving the lowest incidences of infections and medical errors, and was named one of the nation’s Great 100 Community Hospitals by Becker’s Hospital Review. Not receiving such high accolades however, was the company’s web site, built on a proprietary platform and not delivering on Lakeland’s goal to provide a rich and responsive user experience.
Over the past few years with the world going mobile and social networks becoming mainstream, Lakeland wanted to make sure its website was optimizing these technologies to reflect the changing habits of its customers. They found however, that their web platform was holding them back.
The platform had very limited open API services, essentially forcing us to use their proprietary development methods which were cumbersome and expensive,” said Matthew Shine, Lakeland Health Web Developer. “When it came to providing mobile capabilities, custom functionality and integration with third-party systems, we quickly realized that we needed a more responsive development platform.”
Lakeland’s marketing and communications team did its due diligence, researching best practices on the clinical side of their business as well as marketing, and developed a comprehensive list of requirements.
Chief Among Those Were:
- Ease of use that gives team members across the organization the ability to update and maintain content
- Open APIs to integrate a variety of systems from Facebook to medical credentials solutions
- Responsive design to deliver the best mobile experience possible
“We considered this project a new start from a completely blank slate,” said Megan Yore, Chief Communications Officer and Director of Marketing. “We realized the new website was our chance to make the transition from using the web as a traditional marketing tool to a true best-in-class customer-focused digital experience.”
After exhaustive research and a thorough vetting process, Lakeland narrowed its choices to Telerik® Sitefinity™ CMS, Oxycon and Bridgeline. “When it came to matching up with our key attributes, Sitefinity CMS excelled in every area, from ease of use and look and feel, to mobile,” Shine said. “We also extensively interviewed the people who would be working with us and had great confidence and comfort levels with Telerik development partner Enqbator, who we ultimately chose to work with.” With the decision made, the 1,500 page website was built from conception to launch in under six months. The Lakeland team conducted the discovery phase—organizing, prioritizing and rewriting content, then teamed with Enqbator to build the site’s modules. “We eliminated unused and duplicate content and then worked alongside Enqbator to build the enhanced features that would impact the user experience,” said Yore. Sujal Raju, President, Enqbator, added, “For example, we built ‘mega menu,’ a customized main menu with embedded video and news articles; an advanced doctor search tool that imports content daily from Lakeland’s medical credentialing system; and a service locator that leverages the Google Maps API.” A strong partnership between Enqbator and the Lakeland team kept the project on track, meeting tight deadlines. “This site is fairly complex with a lot of special features and integrations,” said Kathey Jaucian, Director, Client Services at Enqbator. “But when you have a great tool like Sitefinity CMS and a group of focused team players who stay on task, it became possible to meet what seemed like an impossible deadline.”
Just a few months after the site’s launch, Lakeland is seeing many positive results. Before launch only 34% of visitors entered the site through mobile. Now, with its responsive design, mobile users make up more than 50% of visitors. Shine also estimates that developers are working with twice the efficiency when compared to their previous CMS, and people throughout the organization are beginning to take advantage of the ease of use of the Sitefinity CMS, managing and updating their content. “A good example of improved workflow and efficiency is physician catalog information,” Shine explained. “Before Sitefinity CMS, physician information had to be entered four times throughout our system–now we pull information directly from our medical staff software to the website, not only eliminating duplication of effort, but improving accuracy.”
Sitefinity CMS has provided Lakeland a wealth of custom functionality, including:
- Find a Doctor Module, an essential search tool with content imported daily from CACTUS, Lakeland’s medical credentialing system
- Mega Menu, a main menu navigation system with embedded video and news pulled from Sitefinity CMS taxonomy
- Specialized microsites, each with custom search capabilities
- Service locator tool that leverages Google Maps and Sitefinity CMS to create a unique solution to search for physicians, facilities and drill down capabilities of each facility
- Newsletter subscription forms that leverage the Mail Chimp API so that forms can be pulled into each service line or publication request page
- Staywell Health Library that leverages Sitefinity CMS taxonomy getting information to the user faster
“Sitefinity CMS has clearly brought us to the next level,” Yore concluded. “The increase in mobile users proves the responsive design is working. Open APIs have allowed us to add so many new features for our users, and the burden to update content is being shifted from development to the stakeholders.”