Clevenland clinic building

Olympic-style competition has been heating up these past summer months, as more than 240 teams of analytics professionals competed for this year’s DMA Analytics Challenge, put on by the DMA Analytics Council and hosted and managed by Jigyasa Analytics.

The Challenge aimed to solve a patient re-activation problem for Cleveland Clinic.  Sylvia Morrison and Brian Hoar of the Database Group at Cleveland Clinic joined the three finalists at DMA13 to present their findings, methodology and models.


Congratulations to::

  1. Overall First Place:  ProAnalysis (Datalab USA), presented by Aaron Davis
  2. Innovation Award Winner:  Fourth Dimension (Fractal Analytics), presented by Rahul Roy Chowdhury.
  3. Finalist:  DIAC (Pricewaterhouse Coopers Diamond Management & Technology Consultants), presented by Suman Katragadda and Shreyes Upadhyay.

“We’re extremely proud of our entire analytics team at DataLab for winning yet another DMA Challenge. We’d like to thank all the parties involved to help make this year’s competition possible. We look forward to competing again in the next challenge,” said Aaron Davis, EVP Analytics at DataLab USA.

Cleveland Clinic

 The Challenge:

Cleveland Clinic embraces a “patient first” approach, and believes that their high touch and exemplary medical pedigree give them an advantage over other providers in the area.    They already send a follow up postcard and email message to patients in certain clinical categories, but wanted to improve the conversion-to-next appointment rate and engagement with the Clinic.   “We want to leverage the ’empathy’ factor and build a relationship with our patients,” Sylvia said.  “Marketing, after all, is interested in driving volume and our objective is to shorten the interval between encounters – just like retail.”

The Challenge participants were given a Patient Reactivation file segmented by:

  • Patient list is created from over 275 chronic condition codes
  • No return visit within 6 months (Diabetes/Congestive Heart Failure)
  • No return visit within 12 months (Asthma, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, etc.)
  • Hierarchical Extract – patient needs to meet one condition
  • Once on the patient mail list – suppressed for 3 months.

The specific analytics objectives were to derive insights from the data provided in order to improve the outreach and offer strategy to:

  1. Generate return appointments from patients with chronic (or multiple) conditions
  2. Focus on target audience: Diabetes (6m), CHF (6m), Arthritis, Back Pain, Hypertension, Gout, Eye Exams, PSA, Children, Women’s Health, Injectibles
  3. Select patients from 13-36 months, no treatment code visit in last 12 months.

Of the 240 entries, the industry judges and academic judges from NORC at the University of Chicago looked for solutions that demonstrated real innovation.   “Innovation is easy to define but hard to pin down,” said Robert Montgomery,  NORC director and a judge for the program.    The judges defined innovation as:

  1. Uses standard solutions when they work best
  2. Uses new solutions when standards can be improved upon
  3. Brings new ideas to the framework, not just more steps/complexity
  4. Opens up new avenues to explore and new applications to other problems

“It was very hard to select the winner, because the work was so terrific across the board, ” Robert said.  “However, what the winner did this year that impressed us was first used text mining to discover features of the diagnostic codes, and second modeled the outcome in two stages (response, visit margin) to potentially uncover richer relationships.”

To learn more about the finalists’ approach and method, download the session handout/presentation deck.

Thank you to Cleveland Clinic, NORC and the University of Chicago, our industry judges, Epsilon (data partner) and most of all to Jiyasa Analytics for managing the program.