Building Software for Tomorrow by Listening Today

welistenWhat our clients actually see in a new release of our VitalSite content management system are just the tips of the iceberg of what we do every day to make sure VitalSite continues to serve our clients’ needs. Our developers do a lot of work that is never seen by the users of our software — from understanding client challenges, to improving the architectural design, to researching the best ways to present the user interface, to rigorously testing the software. These types of enhancements — those that aren’t quite noticeable but lay the groundwork for future advances in our product — are what makes up most of our newest release: VitalSite 13.

VitalSite version 13 will be our fourth release in the last two months. With each of these releases we have made incremental progress on making VitalSite easier to use, providing more hooks into the data, and improving how clients can customize their sites. And we plan to continue frequent releases that make VitalSite even better and friendlier.

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VitalSite Enhancements: Big Changes are the Sum of Small Shifts

codeIt’s fun to talk about the big, new features of a product. But sometimes little features represent really important changes. One of these small but mighty features came out in our latest VitalSite® release. It’s a neat application but more important than what it does is what it stands for. It represents a shift in the way clients are using digital — and therefore a shift in the way we develop VitalSite.

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How VitalSite CMS Improves Search Engine Rankings for Your Providers

Image of a physician's stethoscope on a search box.
You’ve been hearing a lot about the new rules of search engine optimization. Google has taken away search ranking data, inbound organic click-through data, and is, in many cases, even removing more and more of the search engine results page (SERP) real estate dedicated to organic search results!

Through it all, Google has been clear – your route to good search engine placement is the development of original, uniquely valuable content.

Although very good advice, it’s not the entire story. A search ranking isn’t just a result of the content on a page.  It’s the result of a large number of different signals including inbound links from other sites, links on social media, and a host of technical indications of both quality and topical relevance.

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CMS Training from Geonetric: It’s Like the ‘Easy’ Button Really Does Exist!

easy-button-cms-training

Remember the easy button? One simple push and everything just magically works out! Well, that’s the approach Geonetric takes with training new clients on our VitalSite content management system (CMS).

Learning new software can be overwhelming for some people. I understand that feeling based on my own experiences installing new software on my personal computer. And sometimes installing software is easy the easy part — figuring out how to use it can be a time consuming endeavor!

That’s why one of the first steps after you partner with Geonetric is to learn how to use VitalSite, our proprietary CMS. We provide our new clients with personalized, one-on-one training. We believe that making sure our clients begin the process with a real person on the phone to help them learn the product increases the speed of their adoption and helps them move forward with a higher degree of confidence.

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Google’s Universal Analytics Arrives. VitalSite’s Ready.

Google Universal Analytics Graphic

Well, it’s official. Google’s Universal Analytics (UA), the next generation of the ubiquitous Web analytics tool, is now officially out of beta and ready for prime time. According to Google, “all the features, reports, and tools of Classic Analytics are now available in the [Universal Analytics] product, including Remarketing and Audience (Demographic) reporting.” This is good news for those of us interested in taking the plunge, but unwilling to sacrifice any of the functionality we’ve come to depend on in the classic Google Analytics (GA).

Of course, it’s not just about feature parity between old and new. From custom dimensions and metrics to new approaches to cross-domain (and sub-domain) tracking, there are a bevy of new features and capabilities in Universal Analytics that will be of interest to most Web marketers and webmasters.

If you’re a Google-watcher, you’ve no doubt been keeping your eye on Universal Analytics for some time. And if you aren’t a Google-watcher, rest assured that we’ve been watching on your behalf. In fact, we’ve been planning for this announcement for quite some time.

That’s why the just-released VitalSite 7.0 includes a new Site Root Script Manager built specifically with Google’s Universal Analytics in mind.

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Value, Release Frequency and VitalSite CMS

vitalsite 7 cms

A number of years ago we took pride in the fact that we released VitalSite updates every quarter. Not only was it a significant differentiator from other software developers who struggled to deliver even one release a year, but frequent releases just seemed like the right thing to do. Why? Quarterly updates allowed us more opportunities to help our clients manage their top performing hospital websites. And that’s hard to do when you have to wait a year or more to take advantage of new features.

Over the last few years we’ve been resolute in our commitment to frequently delivering software, and the rate at which we release updates has increased manyfold. In fact, we now consider a quarterly release cadence to be slow and often symptomatic of problems on software development teams. Such problems can be the result of:

  1. A software development team that is incapable of responding quickly to changing market needs, or of quickly deploying fixes and updates to clients. This can be because of anything from code quality to management problems. Regardless of the cause, it should be considered a warning sign for many types of software.
  2. A vendor who has decided to withhold valuable changes and updates from their clients until the marketing team decides that they have ‘enough’ new functionality for them to bundle it all in a release and promote it in the market. This approach is common among software vendors who just want to rack up new sales and have little regard for existing clients.

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Search Is Not Your Website’s Dumping Ground


Stylized image of a search box

Like water from the tap or electrons from the outlet, we tend to take search for granted. Beneath the ubiquitous experience we’re all familiar with, there is a lot of advanced engineering at play… engineering intended to empower users by connecting them to results highly relevant to their queries.

That’s the theory, anyways.
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VitalSite 6.7.6 – Secure Content Enhancements for Hospital Websites, Intranets and Extranets


Image of a lock symbol on the key of a keyboard
As 2013 finally draws to a close, we have one more release to announce: VitalSite 6.7.6. This release contains a few new features related to secure content (CMS pages and secure files), and a number of fixes and updates requested by clients (full details are provided to clients in GeoCentral). The new features will be of interest to clients using VitalSite to host content for authenticated users on hospital intranets, board extranets and secure sections of their public websites.
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Time to Spice Up the Ol’ Provider Directory?


Avera Doctor Profile Page

Keeping physicians happy, adhering to brand standards, and making a site user-friendly can sometimes be a balancing act. But Avera Health has accomplished all three items with its updated provider directory.

Geonetric worked with Avera Health take VitalSite’s already advanced provider profiles a step further. We gave the physician profiles a facelift adding in more interactive features such as videos and a dynamic blog feed that pulls in blog posts written by that specific doctor. The location information (including secondary locations) are clearly displayed to make it easy for visitors to find a provider in a certain area.

We also simplified the physician search results by changing the layout and indicating physicians that have a video. A print button was also added that allows users to print their search results.

Making a few changes can have a big effect! Feedback has been very positive, a win-win for users and providers!

Are you ready to dust off your provider directory and spice it up? Not sure where to start? Let us know – we’d love to help!

Web Content Accordion Best Practices

As you probably know, VitalSite has a great feature called accordions. Accordions allow you to take a long run-on page and condense the content into collapsed accordions so you can add even more content and accordions to your page, right?! Well… not exactly. That’s not the intent, anyway. But we see it used for exactly that purpose all too often.

Perhaps you are caught in the “how many accordions are too many?” conundrum. Many healthcare marketers are. There are some general guidelines you can use so let’s dive right in.

Generally, 5-6 accordions is the maximum you should place on one page. If you add any more you can safely say that you are trying to place too much content on one page. So you might think a solution to this is to make your accordion headers “broader” so each accordion can encompass more content. Not so much; which leads us to the next guideline.

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Active Directory Integration and the Healthcare CMS

Screen capture showing the ADFS network sign-in option for VitalSite

VitalSite 6.7.5 is nearing completion, and as we prepare it for release, I’m particularly excited to announce our Active Directory authentication integration.

VitalSite administrators will appreciate the reduced overhead now that they don’t have to manually create and deactivate accounts in VitalSite when employees enter and leave the organization.
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Finding the Right Doctor Online Just Got Easier

It can be hard to find the right doctor.

And let’s face it, people are pretty picky. Some care about gender. Others care about age. Some care about where the doctor went to school. Or if the doctor has a MD after his name or a DO.

And some care about all of the above.

So how do you help these picky health consumers in your community connect with one of your doctors? With an awesome online physician directory!
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How Do Healthcare Organizations Manage Multiple Services Across Various Locations?

Locations, services and physicians, oh my! Crozer-Keystone Health System’s Brinton Lake is a comprehensive outpatient complex in Glen Mills, PA.

Since the Brinton Lake complex offers an extensive number of services at various locations, Crozer-Keystone was concerned about usability and making sure site visitors could find the providers, services, and location information they needed.
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The Guide to Google Publisher