by Byron Connolly

HCF to improve member retention rates with real-time data analysis

Aug 10, 20122 mins
Healthcare Industry

Not-for-profit health fund HCF will soon deploy real-time data analytics software that automatically determines the risk of members allowing their policies to lapse, helping the company retain customers in an increasingly competitive market.

HCF has completed trials – using IBM’s Smarter Analytics Solutions (ISAS) – analysing data relating to 1.5 million members at the same time as general production processing to provide staff with the most up-to-date and accurate information based on historical data.

The deployment is part HCF’s ongoing core IT transformation program to automate business processes to help retain and grow customer numbers by offering new services that better promote the health of its members.

IBM is also providing business process and governance tools and replacing HCF’s mainframe with a new IBM zEnterprise 114 system, under a multi-million dollar contract.

HCF CIO Patrick Shearman told CIO that the IBM data analysis tool will enable HCF to feed updated member data into its customer relationship management (CRM) system overnight, compared to every month previously.

Shearman said that when a member phones the company’s call centre, an agent will see a number, generate from historical data that indicates the likelihood of the customer’s policy lapsing. He said that gathering this data has been resource-intensive and usually completed once every couple of months.

“This data analytics tool gives us the ability to do this work in almost real-time as our member database churns,” said Shearman. “This ensures we are proactively offering [products to help] retain customers.”

“The IBM infrastructure gives us the ability to analyse our historical data very quickly, whereas before we would have struggled to have the capacity to do this,” said Shearman.

The new infrastructure will help speed up patient data analysis at HCF’s dental practices across Australia. It will also support new programs such as “My Health Guardian”, which provides members with online tools to promote better health and provide support for customers with chronic illnesses.