Healthcare system gets the message to its patients

Healthcare system gets the message to its patients

ABOUT THE VENDOR CPM Corporation, based in East Peoria, IL, develops Customer Relationship Management solutions,...

including information warehousing technology, delivery systems, and portals. Since its inception in 1981, CPM has achieved international recognition for solving healthcare, finance, and telecommunications business problems with this technology. CPM's CRM integrated solutions allow businesses to maximize their customer relationships through market analysis, strategic planning and targeted personal communications. The foundation is an accessible, customer-centric web warehouse that includes comprehensive individual and household data. CPM's suite of software tools provide easy and secure access to the data for individual snapshots of customers and prospects on a ?segment of one? basis. ABOUT THE CLIENT OSF Healthcare System, an Illinois, not-for-profit corporation owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, Peoria, Illinois, includes seven facilities in Illinois and one in Michigan. Its gross operating revenues exceed $1 billion. The System employs about 10,000 people including nearly 200 physicians. Also integral to the System are OSF Saint Francis, Inc., OSF HealthCare Foundation and OSF HealthPlans, Inc., a subsidiary of OSF Healthcare System, which is a licensed insurance company in the State of Illinois with more than 70,000 covered lives. ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY DSS WorkBench allows healthcare planners and marketers to analyze the wealth of information in their database for decision support critical to business strategy. It is an online analytical processing software to allow a business user to run multi-dimensional ad-hoc queries, graph, chart, map, pull mailing lists, etc. DSS WorkBench contains over 50 Standard Reports for healthcare in addition to the above features. Pro-Con Data Miner is a statistical tool for building analytical models for predicting trends in behavior. DSS Communicator is a comprehensive system for managing and coordinating marketing programs and marketing communication channels. Communicator allows the user to identify selling opportunities and respond to them quickly, and manage and track multi-channel serial marketing programs across all the "touch points" of customer interaction (phone, mail, Internet). OSF Healthcare needed a system that would help them communicate the right educational and promotional messages to the right patients. SearchCRM spoke with Jim Farrell, OSF Healthcare's corporate director of marketing and communications, about the project. -------------------------------------------------------- SearchCRM: Why did you decide to evaluate CRM solutions? Farrell: This goes back almost five years. We have six hospitals in our system. Two were already using CPM and a third was using another system. At that time, we were using CPM as a mailing program, where we would buy lists and mail information about new programs or services. Since three out of the six hospitals were already engaged with direct mail programs, it seemed that we should expand that endeavor to the whole enterprise. At that time, the two institutions that were working with CPM were very satisfied with the services they were getting, both from the creative side and the mail shop side. We decided to negotiate with CPM to have them build a complete data warehouse for us. SearchCRM: Why did you choose CPM for your enterprise-wide system instead of the other solution? Farrell: We were a beta site for the other firm, so we were teaching them healthcare. They just didn't understand all the complexities involved with healthcare. CPM's strength was healthcare. They've been able not only to understand the complexity, but have helped us to capitalize on it. SearchCRM: How did the technology implementation go? Farrell: We rolled out DSS Workbench to all our hospitals and to our health insurance company, and we basically put it on the marketing person's desktop. We tried that for a year and it didn't work as well as we thought it would -- the tool was more advanced than our capabilities as marketers. So we now rely on the account executives at CPM to do the different sorts and the matches for us, as opposed to us doing it ourselves. Someone at CPM who is very well versed in the system can crank through these sorts very methodically, quickly, and accurately. We defer to them, because we never got all the way up that learning curve to feel confident in what we were doing. SearchCRM: How do you use the CPM system on a day-to-day basis? Farrell: We look at how many people in our respective service areas have been to our facilities over a certain period of time, and what do they look like in terms of what is their age, where do they live, and so on. For example, OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington can pull up all of their patients who have been in for some type of heart-related diagnostics over the last 12 months and then look at different ways to communicate educational messages to people who are under forty and those who are over forty. It helps us determine who we should be communicating with and what our messages should be. SearchCRM: So how does all this help the customer, or patient? Farrell: They get informed about different educational opportunities, not only in the way of programs and classes, but also health fairs and other events, which may have passed them by in terms of other media. It also informs patients about new services, new physicians, and new equipment that can intervene sooner or prevent some particular disease. SearchCRM: How has the CPM system helped your bottom line? Farrell: The St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington has had a whole series of mailings for their women's health center program for about 18 months. They've calculated a return on investment that far exceeds the costs of the marketing materials, based on the number of new patients that come in for services over a six or 12 month period. OSF St. Francis here in Peoria has had a similar experience -- the mammography reminder postcards have been very effective. SearchCRM: Do you have any advice for companies thinking of starting a similar project? Farrell: As you go into it, you need to be very patient in terms of when the system will start becoming effective. You need a year to get your data warehouse created, and then another year to get your organization familiar with the concept before they show results. It's not just a one year in-and-out. You need to look at it as a three year evaluation period. Linda Formichelli's writing appeared this year in Woman's Day, Wired, Writer's Digest, Family Circle, Psychology Today. Contact her at, or check out her Web site

This was first published in October 2001

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