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Midwest Heart Specialists

Nestled within the western and northwestern Chicago suburbs, Midwest Heart Specialists (MHS) is a nationally recognized group of more than 50 physicians including board certified cardiologists, electrophysiologists and heart failure specialists. MHS uses WebGUI to run the organization’s Internet and Intranet websites, allowing for a dynamic menu and simple navigation, search capabilities above and beyond a typical website search engine, and a more engaging environment for patients.

Search for a Solution

Paul Knight, IT director for MHS, was looking for a solution to the current MHS website platform, which did not include a dynamic menu for 128 pages of content. Navigation was tricky and disengaging for patients, while updating pages proved a difficult undertaking. MHS needed a web platform that would empower Knight with the ability to provide more engaging, dynamic functionality for visitors that utilized simple search criteria so patients could find doctors and request appointments through a single streamlined process. At the same time, Knight would not have a significant amount of time to dedicate to the site; content provision and human resources requests would have to be handled directly by the departments themselves.

A web search revealed several options for Knight, including a healthcare-specific platform. However, most of the solutions Knight found were not cost-effective for the budget he was working with. Knight comments: “When I came across WebGUI, we found that the open source platform could do everything we needed in a web platform for free. Plain Black provided a reliable forum for our departments that would allow us to pull information we needed directly from the company’s knowledge base.”

Working with Knowmad Technologies (site programming) and PrairieWeb Internet Marketing (interface and content creation), Knight set to work making his vision a reality. The open source capabilities allowed the team to program dynamic search functionality, create massive amounts of engaging content for search engine optimization, build customized request forms for patient appointments, and construct a cohesive resource library for patient reference.


MHS now has a fully dynamic website, enabling patients to find doctors by location, name and specialty. The site leaves an easy-to-follow crumb trail for patients to find their way back to previous pages, while providing simple navigation options on sidebars and headers. Other custom creations include an automatically updated news section and on-screen options for font size adjustment.

“By a conservative estimate, our IT department has saved around 8 hours a week that would have been allocated to site updates and HR requests,” mentions Knight. “By implementing WebGUI into our site maintenance platform, MHS was able to save around $60,000 up front and an additional $22,000 annually.”

MHS was able to access Plain Black’s reliable customer assistance to provide in-person training for non-IT departments. Now, human resources can update job postings directly and marketing can update content without involving IT, allocating the IT team’s time to more relevant projects.

“Now, the MHS website’s more engaging design presents patients with a call to action: here are our physicians, fully-searchable so you can find the professional that best fits your health needs. Booking an appointment is simple. Presenting an organized, easy-to-navigate website reflects well on our entire group.”

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At a Glance

Midwest Heart SpecialistsMidwest Heart Specialists

West and North West suburbs of Chicago, IL


Find a dynamic CMS platform that: 

  • was cost effective.
  • provided options for customized solutions.
  • can be manipulated by less tech-savvy employees.

MHS was able to save $60,000 up front and $22,000 annually by integrating WebGUI into the company’s web platform. The IT department saved at least 8 hours a week, while providing an engaging, content-rich experience for site visitors.

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