CATEGORY: Analytic Applications

REVIEWER: Tracy Simons, manager of community relations for Silver Cross Hospital and Medical Centers.

BACKGROUND: Silver Cross Hospital and Medical Centers based in Joliet, Illinois, is a not-for-profit, 293-bed hospital and a network of eight medical centers serving Joliet and Chicago's southwest suburbs. Established in 1895, Silver Cross features a level II trauma emergency department and offers a full range of both inpatient and outpatient services. Silver Cross employs more than 300 physicians, approximately 1,000 employees and 550 volunteers.

PLATFORMS: DSS Communicator, provided by Customer Potential Management (CPM) Corporation, operates on PCs with 486 Pentium running Windows 95 or above and requires 16MB of RAM, 20MB hard drive space and 100MB available on the file server. DSS Communicator attaches to any Access or Oracle database.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Silver Cross Hospital has had success with its image and general awareness campaigns, but needed to develop new programs to help existing and new customers reach their full health potential. To do so, we implemented CPM's customer relationship management (CRM) model, which includes DSS Communicator for automated communications management. Now we are able to offer personalized information pertinent for our customers' unique situations including education and awareness, wellness or disease management in a more timely and automated manner. Communicator enables us to respond to our customers on an individual basis, whether that is sending a follow-up fulfillment piece or a seminar reminder. It also tracks charges generated by encounter and number of new patients.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: DSS Communicator is an intelligent agent that sits on our CRM database. As the database receives information from customer interactions with the call center, a direct mail piece or the Web site, the Communicator searches for the next thing to do – such as initiating a communication follow- up/fulfillment or adding a campaign response to the database. Silver Cross recently began an emergency department event-triggered, multistep, multichannel campaign to connect individuals without a primary care physician to one of its medical centers and to promote its Centers of Excellence in orthopedics, neurology and oncology. ER patients without a primary care physician receive information on the medical centers and locating a physician. Those with an orthopedic, neurological or oncology diagnosis receive offers of free screenings, seminars or consultations, depending on their medical status. Manually, this type of communications management would be impossible.

STRENGTHS: In CRM, getting the right message to the right person at the right time is paramount. DSS Communicator allows us to tailor our campaign lists and delivery mechanisms for the best response, thereby increasing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our communication programs. DSS Communicator gives us the ability to design single step, multichannel or multichannel/multistep campaigns to accommodate customer preferences and to automatically fulfill responses and track results.

WEAKNESSES: DSS Communicator could provide more standard tracking reports. It also would be helpful to have additional prebuilt marketing programs. CPM is fine-tuning these features and hopes to make them available by the end of the year.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Silver Cross selected CPM from among five companies based on its nearly 20-year history in healthcare relationship marketing and the fact that CPM provides a total, integrated package of CRM solutions – from technology to marketing, Web expertise, creative strategy and direct mail.

DELIVERABLES: DSS Communicator is part of CPM's DSS WorkBench and as such offers approximately 40 standard reports in addition to the campaign automation features mentioned earlier. This product allows us to restrict and customize mailing lists at both the individual and household levels for improved personalization essential to a successful CRM strategy. CPM also is at the forefront of patient privacy issues and provides information and strategy on meeting requirements of the dynamic HIPAA regulations.

VENDOR SUPPORT: As part of its CRM solution for healthcare, CPM uses the knowledge in the CRM database to implement and automate campaigns with DSS Communicator. CPM staff is very knowledgeable, customer focused and easy to work with.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation provided is easy to use.

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