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April 2007
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Open the Mail and Say Ahh

There can be such a thing as getting too personal. Tailoring the content of a printed piece to the individual recipient has been seen as a positive, but the risk of a backlash grows as people find more of their lives becoming an open book.

Privacy can also become an issue in another way with variable data communications. If sensitive information is included in a database provided to a print provider, that data must be secured, and care used, when incorporating it into the printed piece. The March edition of PRINTING IMPRESSIONS included a story on database management (Takin’ Care of Business) that featured some recent lapses by printers in dealing with sensitive data, but there have been many more reports of sensitive databases being “lost” by various other parties.

It’s likely a toss-up whether people will be more sensitive about how their financial information or health records are used. Even very intimate communications can be well received, though, if they are done right.

[ The Proposition ]

Resolution Health Inc. (RHI) is a health management company that works with employers and health plan payers to reduce costs, while enhancing the quality of care plan members receive. It provides technology and information that conveys medically approved guidelines and best practices to healthcare professionals, insurers and patients to lower the cost of providing the right patient care.

The company sought to capitalize on advances in printing and data processing technologies to provide patients visual reports and tools to help them make better decisions in matters affecting their health. Working with Anderson Direct Marketing, in Poway, CA, it developed a program to create customized reports that summarize health services individual members receive. The main goals of the program were to:

• Send patients information on appropriate care and services.

• Reduce patient care costs through education.

• Make patients aware of options and services.

• Provide patients summary information about health services they used that quarter.

RHI sends patient communications reports to insurance plan members who have received more care—in the form of doctor visits or medications—than the median for all participants in their plans. These reports summarize all medical care (doctor’s visits, prescriptions, tests and other services) that the patient has received since the previous report was issued. They also detail the cost of those services, the amount the patient paid and the outlay made by the insurer, along with any other related information deemed useful.

[ Development Process ]

The first step RHI took was to develop templates and content related to various health conditions. It then implemented algorithms that analyze a member’s claims record and report relevant information. The result is a 100 percent personalized healthcare profile for each person in the target group.

In addition to analyzing the care a patient does receive, the system will recommend appropriate services that it does not find in the patient’s record. Lower-cost alternatives to prescribed brand-name medications are also reported, if suitable. Customized content can also be added based on the recipient’s medical conditions, including information about foods, action, drugs, etc., that may be harmful or helpful to someone with those ailments.

[ Producing the Job ]

Production of the reports is handled by Anderson Direct Marketing, a vertically integrated direct marketing company that provides campaign development and production services. Its services include campaign strategy and development, creative, media services, database management, and digital and offset printing, as well as response and ROI analysis.

The company initially produced the reports on a Xerox DocuColor 6060 digital color printer driven by a Spire CXP6000 color server. It used a variety of variable data software to develop the program, including PrintSoft PReS and XMPie’s uProduce, uCreate and uPlan. Anderson has been producing 3,000 to 5,000 reports on a quarterly basis.

[ The Results ]

RHI was looking for plan members to take a more active role in their healthcare and make healthier, more efficient choices regarding the care and treatment they receive. It has found that people who are sent these reports are significantly more likely to take charge of their healthcare, as measured by following the latest scientific best practices and guidelines outlined in the reports, and trying the over-the-counter and generic medications recommended.

According to the company, what has made the program successful is its ability to deliver accurate information about each individual patient on a timely basis. Given that, it might seem like the Internet would be a natural vehicle for delivering such content. When it comes to their health, though, RHI’s management believes people still want a tangible, hardcopy report, since that is something they can take their time going over and share with family.

The program has received praise from outside sources, too, having won two awards at a Consumer Directed Healthcare Conference (CDHC). It was selected as the best or most innovative health plan initiative promoting consumer-directed healthcare and as the best or most innovative CDHC initiative across all categories. PI

This case study was derived from PODi’s annual Best Practices in Digital Print Report, the largest collection ever assembled of successful digital printing projects. Now in its sixth edition, the report has been enhanced with more in-depth coverage of select case studies. PODi is an industry initiative with hundreds of member companies including executive board members EFI, HP, IBM, Kodak, Pitney Bowes, Quark and Xerox. Membership in PODi is open to most organizations involved in digital printing. For more information on joining PODi or submitting your own case study, visit


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