Big data and predictive analytics pull in smokers for lung screening

Chesapeake Regional Healthcare sought to motivate smokers to get screened and used cloud-based analytics and marketing technology to successfully target them.
By Bill Siwicki
03:12 PM
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Chesapeake Regional uses big data and analytics to screen smokers for lung cancer

Credit: Twitter

Early detection is key in preventing severe problems associated with lung cancer. In fact, when using low-dose computed tomography imaging, more than 80 percent of lung cancers have a chance to be cured when detected at an early stage, according to Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, an American College of Radiology Designated Lung Cancer Screening Center.

Virginia-based Chesapeake Regional sought to motivate smokers and former smokers to "Get Off their Butts" and get screened with its Lung Cancer Screening Trigger Campaign, which they started in 2015.

By leveraging SaaS-based big data analytics and marketing technology, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare was able to identify, target and educate certain populations at risk or eligible for lung screenings with this personalized outreach program. As a result, the healthcare organization was able to get 5.21 percent of new patients and 9.17 percent of all patients it targeted to get lung screenings.

"Chesapeake Regional Healthcare was looking to drive more volume into our Lung Cancer Screening program, and only certain people need or qualify for a lung screening – targeting and predictive analytics are perfect for this type of campaign," said Sarah Liebrum, manager of marketing and communications at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare.

So the health system turned to Tea Leaves Health, a developer of cloud-based analytics technology that Liebrum said "offers self-reported smoker data as well as some modeling that allows us to predict who is likely to need this screening."

Beyond that, she said, "we can use our patient data to look for certain diagnoses to include or exclude. It is always our goal to keep our patient population as healthy as possible and this screening allows us to help them diagnose and treat any conditions that may exist before it's too late."

In addition to Tea Leaves Health, there are a variety of provider relationship management systems on the market today from vendors including Ascend, Evariant, Infor, Salesforce, Silverline and Software Solutions Group.

The marketing tool enables Chesapeake Regional Healthcare to hone in and target those that need a specific service at a specific time.

Liebrum added that the cloud-based service features pre-written queries for best practices, to which the Chesapeake Regional team plugs in information about its geography to get data back about how many people qualify in that region. 

For its Lung Cancer Screening Trigger Campaign, the provider was able to get 5.21 percent of new patients and 9.17 percent of all patients it targeted to get lung screenings.

"The 5.21 percent were folks that were not previously our patients – a fantastic response from non-patients that shows we are targeting the right folks," Liebrum said. "We have currently contacted more than 25,700 for this campaign over the course of two and a half years. And we are continuing this into the new fiscal year."

Big Data analytics informed the healthcare provider on specific populations about the benefits of early detection.

"With predictive modeling, we are able to spend dollars wisely to communicate to those most likely needing to know about this important screening," she said.

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Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com