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Sansum Clinic Marks 90 Years of Innovative Health Care

This month, the clinic will roll out its new electronic health record system

This year marks the 90th anniversary of Sansum Clinic, the oldest and largest nonprofit, outpatient health-care provider on the Central Coast.

“Our longevity is due to our ongoing investment in the latest equipment and technology and our recruitment of the best and the brightest physicians, which combined, enable us to deliver the high-tech and high-touch elements of quality health care,” said Paul Jaconette, chief administrative officer/executive vice president.

One of Sansum Clinic’s founders, Dr. William David Sansum, was a pioneering researcher who launched the clinic with the intent to study and eventually conquer diabetes. Sansum was the first American to successfully isolate, produce and administer insulin to treat diabetes.

Sansum Clinic has maintained that innovative approach and has continually evolved the level of care available in the community. The organization’s myriad health-care advancements include the first renal dialysis machine and the first kidney transplant surgery in Santa Barbara. Sansum Clinic physicians performed the first carotid and laparoscopic surgeries and brought the first digital mammography services to Santa Barbara. The clinic expanded care to residents with one of the first outpatient Urgent Care facilities, providing after-hours services that were open to the community.

“We have always worked to stay out in front of the community’s needs — advancing care in addition to responding to the challenges of the day,” Jaconette said.

This month, Sansum Clinic is rolling out one of the most ambitious projects in the organization’s 90-year history. The clinic is making the transition from paper charts to an electronic health record system that will provide complete electronic documentation of the care patients receive. The system is called the Wave, and it will create a single and continuously updated electronic chart for each patient, which means records will be complete and accessible by health-care providers from anywhere at any time. The Wave is designed by Epic, which was chosen because it has the highest rate of patient, user and institutional approval of all electronic health records available.

“This new technology reflects the dedication that Sansum Clinic has to delivering the best care and the best service to our patients and our community,” said Dr. Kurt Ransohoff, CEO, president and medical director. “Sansum Clinic has gone through several transformations in our nearly 90-year history, and the transition to an electronic health record puts us in a class with the best clinics in the nation.”

In addition to being a leading provider of health care in Santa Barbara County, Sansum Clinic is a community service organization that contributes to the well-being of the community in many ways. Through programs such as free health education classes, flu shot clinics and a collaboration with the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics for free diagnostic services for those in need, Sansum Clinic improves the quality of life of this community by delivering the educational and humanitarian components of a comprehensive health-care program.

“Reaching this milestone is a true testament to our staff and physicians. In our 90-year history, thousands of individuals have worked together to care for the people of our community. I am proud of the things we have achieved as a result of the dedication and teamwork of all our employees,” Jaconette said. “Our focus on customer service and our integrated multispecialty model enables us to provide compassionate, lifelong care to the people of Santa Barbara County, and countless visitors from across the country and around the globe.

“When I look ahead, I see a strong future based on our continued delivery of the innovative health-care solutions that our patients have come to expect from Sansum Clinic.”

— Jill Fonte is marketing director for Sansum Clinic.

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