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Case Study: Curvature & Sansum Clinic

Sansum Clinic Rapidly Establishes Solid Networking Foundation for Transition to Electronic Health Records with Curvature's Pre-Owned Cisco Hardware and NetSure® Services

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Solution Snapshot


Sansum Clinic, Santa Barbara, CA, United States




  • Migrate organization to a new electronic health record (EHR) platform
  • Upgrade network infrastructure to enable improved data and voice services to all of the Clinic sites


  • Deployed pre-owned hardware to upgrade network infrastructure including Cisco 6500, 4500, and 2960 switches
  • Leveraged Curvature's professional services and NetSure® maintenance solution


  • The expertise, speed and agility of the Curvature team enabled Sansum Clinic to achieve its migration goals faster than originally anticipated
  • Purchased hundreds of pre-owned Cisco devices, saving an estimated $1.1 million in hardware costs (over Cisco list price) since 2009
  • With NetSure, Sansum Clinic is saving $57,000 annually in maintenance fees

Sansum Clinic is the oldest and largest non-profit, outpatient healthcare provider between the Los Angeles Basin and the San Francisco Bay area in Santa Barbara County, California. With more than 150 affiliated physicians, it provides the full spectrum of healthcare services, from primary care to more than 30 specialties.

The organization's longevity is due to recruitment of the best and the brightest physicians and ongoing investment in the latest equipment and technology, which combined, enable Sansum Clinic to deliver the high-tech and high-touch elements of quality healthcare. Over the years, Sansum Clinic has maintained its innovative approach and has continually evolved the level of care available in the community, working to stay out in front of the community's needs—advancing care in addition to responding to the challenges of the day.

Sansum Clinic's technology needs are managed by a centralized team of more than 20 IT experts. The Clinic maintains several data centers in Santa Barbara County with over a hundred network switches, routers and devices and oversees the maintenance and integration of hundreds of mobility devices, terminals and PCs across all their sites.

The Challenge

Serving more than 150,000 patients (600,000 visits) annually at 21 patient care facilities, Sansum Clinic is in the midst of one of the most ambitious projects in the organization's 90-year history: transitioning from paper charts to a secure electronic health record (EHR) system that will provide complete electronic documentation of the care patients receive.

Healthcare providers throughout the United States are moving quickly to migrate to EHR systems as the clock is ticking. Starting in 2015, hospitals and doctors will be subject to financial penalties under Medicare if they are not using electronic health records. Leading industry analyst firm IDC Health Insights predicts that by the end of 2012 the majority of U.S. providers will use an EHR. (IDC , "U.S. Health Industry Provider 2012 Top 10 Predictions: Moving on from Meaningful Use to Healthcare Reform," Document # HI231907, January 2012.)

Sansum Clinic's new EHR platform (from EPIC), named "Wave," creates a single and continuously updated electronic chart for each patient. This secure platform enables records to be complete and accessible by healthcare providers from anywhere at any time.

A few years ago when Sansum Clinic began to migrate to its EHR system, it also sought to reinvigorate its core network infrastructure for improved delivery of data and voice services. However, the Clinic experienced several failures within its existing network infrastructure, particularly with the hardware. At the time, the IT team thought they had a strong maintenance contract and arrangement with the existing vendor, but as the equipment began to fail, vendor response time and quality of replacement gear became unacceptable and did not meet the Clinic's needs.

"It was a series of events over time that led us to a place where we thought we needed to broaden our horizon and look elsewhere, to look at some of the traditional vendors, but other vendors as well," said Donovan Wade, Manager of Technical Services, Sansum Clinic.

The Solution

Sansum Clinic began to look at alternative offerings, including pre-owned networking equipment—a first for the organization. "After taking a closer look at Curvature and what they had to offer, the choice became clear. Factors in our decision included their ability to provide us with hardware at incredible speeds, the rigorous testing their equipment goes through and their knowledgeable team of engineers," added Wade.

The resulting network strategy included migrating Sansum Clinic's older legacy Extreme network gear to Cisco, building a best-of-breed platform that could serve as the underlying technology to support the new EHR system.

"Our updated network infrastructure helps keep our business model of delivering improved data and voice to all of our clinic sites within Santa Barbara County, better and faster," commented Wade. "This directly impacts the quality of service that our staff provides to patients."

Over the past few years of working with Curvature, the world's leading provider of pre-owned and new networking equipment, the Clinic has purchased and deployed Cisco Catalyst 6500, 4500 and 2960 series switches along with MDS Fabric switches, Cisco Aironet 1140 series wireless access points with 5500 series Wireless LAN Controllers, and Cisco 4200 IPS appliances. In addition, Sansum Clinic leverages Curvature's alternative maintenance and services offered through NetSure, a complete network coverage solution to maximize network performance, extend equipment life, and reduce cost without increasing risk.

As Sansum Clinic quickly moved full steam ahead with its Wave platform migration and network infrastructure upgrade, the organization needed additional IT experts to help, as in-house resources were fully tapped. The Clinic turned to the Curvature professional services team to help with the migration because they knew that they had the right talent and network engineering expertise and that through tight partnership and collaboration, the work would get done.

"It's easily described as a team that has a very strong knowledge of the product that they're working with and an eagerness to work with you to find a solution," said Wade. "The Curvature team was flexible to meet our needs and get us where we needed to be at record speeds. In the healthcare industry our needs are changing all the time and the ability to get pre-owned equipment often times in less than one business day contributed to the success of this project."

The Benefits

"Our mission is to provide excellence in comprehensive healthcare to our patients. Today, we are using our Wave platform as well as new virtualization technology to leverage the interchange and interplay of patient information, where we can easily and securely share information with other providers, such as hospitals and labs, to improve the overall patient care experience," said Wade.

Curvature has provided the Clinic with hundreds of pre-owned Cisco devices, saving the company an estimated $1.1 million over Cisco list prices since 2009. Additionally, in 2011 the Clinic migrated the majority of its hardware maintenance from Cisco's SMARTnet® over to Curvature's NetSure maintenance service. With NetSure Sansum Clinic is saving over $57,000 annually in maintenance fees.

The cost savings Sansum Clinic realized from using pre-owned equipment for what the organization calls its core networking and switching gear, has enabled the Clinic to fast-track other IT initiatives, even more so than had originally been budgeted for.

"We were able to rapidly architect a solution using top-tier Cisco hardware that was appropriate for our environment and at price points that were very competitive. In many instances, Curvature provided us with recommendations on legacy Cisco hardware we could install to achieve our IT needs without added expense—and that equipment was sent to us in record time. The expertise, speed and agility of the Curvature team enabled us to achieve our migration goals faster than originally anticipated," noted Wade.

With the multitude of devices and applications running on Sansum Clinic's network, the infrastructure that Curvature helped build enables the Clinic to easily configure and adapt to changes and new organizational demands.

As Sansum Clinic finishes its electronic health record platform rollout this year, the organization is poised to continue to provide the best patient care and services in Santa Barbara County for another 90 years.


About Curvature
Curvature (previously known as Network Hardware Resale) is the world's leading provider of pre-owned and new networking equipment. Based in Santa Barbara, California, the Company is an independent reseller of pre-owned Cisco, Brocade/Foundry, and Juniper networking equipment and is a Premier member of Dell's PartnerDirect program. Curvature offers cost-effective network management, asset management, alternative maintenance and technical support services. Founded in 1986, Curvature provides access to global personalized technical and sales support from its Santa Barbara, Dallas metro, New York City metro, Amsterdam, London and Singapore locations. Organizations worldwide purchase quality networking equipment from Curvature, including Global 1000 companies, small and mid-sized enterprises, government entities, educational institutions, healthcare organizations and telecommunications service providers.

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