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Management information system helps to bring Zdravotní pojišťovna ministerstva vnitra through troubled waters

It is impossible to reliably predict the future, but those who better perceive linkages and the complexity of the current situation can more easily make decisions and foresee future development. The task of managers in every company is to best evaluate the given enterprise’s condition and position on the market as well as opportunities and threats. Every major change is signalled by indicators that precede it. The value of timely information consists in the fact that the management has sufficient time to reach appropriate decisions on the adequate response to the signalled change.

Client:

Zdravotní pojišťovna ministerstva vnitra České republiky

Characteristics of the customer

With 1.2 million policyholders, Zdravotní pojišťovna ministerstva vnitra (Ministry Health Insurance Company of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic – hereinafter referred to by its Czech initials “ZPMV”), established in 1992, is the biggest occupational health-insurance company in the Czech Republic. It has an extensive network of more than 25,000 contracting healthcare facilities throughout the Czech Republic, thanks to which it ensures high-quality, available and modern healthcare for its policyholders. In recent years, the insurer has significantly supported prevention and a healthy lifestyle via the project Health as a Passion with Pavel Kříž. Since September 2009, ZPMV has been offering its clients a unique electronic product called Life Card, which includes, among other things, the client’s personal account with data on healthcare expenditures over the past three years. The Life Card is available to clients upon entering a PIN and password on the internet and, since 2011, also by smartphone. Clients can also obtain data from the card on their mobile telephones via SMS messages.

The customer’s initial situation

Rising competitive pressure in the Czech Republic’s health-insurance system in the second half of the 1990s prompted ZPMV to seek a sufficiently high-quality, precise and comprehensive tool for obtaining, analysing and reporting data – especially from the areas of healthcare, finance and processes – important for providing high-quality services to its clients, for optimisation of business relationships with contracting healthcare facilities and for increasing the effectiveness and competitiveness of ZPMV’s business and its ability to quickly and flexibly respond to changes in the internal and external environment.

Our solution  

KOMIX was interesting for ZPMV due to its specific knowledge of the health-insurance business gained through more than five years of cooperation with the insurer Oborová zdravotní pojišťovna (OZP). The joint project DAPO, involving the creation and development of a data portal, was launched in 2001. The scope of services provided by KOMIX was not limited to delivering a finished tool, but also involved active participation in designing the entire system, including the formulation and content of generated reports.

The DAPO system integrates information for operations systems, processes the stipulated reporting and provides tools for processing ad-hoc enquiries. Data are provided according to the level of authorisation to the insurance company’s employees on the intranet in a portal environment. DAPO processes and combines information from the area of health insurance and from the area of accounting, and thanks to the portal solution, it also enables the integration of other information systems. A Call Centre is also built into the portal environment. In the first version, the data portal was built on technology from the company MicroStrategy.

The project was successfully developed and over the course of the following years a range of data warehouses and data marketplaces were created. Even though in its time the ZPMV portal was a modern and powerful tool for management support, there was room for improvement: any modification of the defined reports required the involvement of IT specialists and users frequently often encountered unpleasantly long system response times. Of course, at that time this was the standard situation of all Business Intelligence solutions.

In 2008 KOMIX came up with a proposal for improving the system based on the interesting QlikView product and new IMA (In Memory Analysis) technology. This technology solves the problem of long response times ensuing from the necessity of constant communication with database servers, where both source data and information on the data-warehouse structure are stored. QlikView stores data in compressed form in the operating memory and, thanks to patented associative technology, it is able to substantially reduce response time – for example, to units of seconds instead of ten minutes.

ZPMV was one of the first customers for which the QlikView product was deployed for such vast data. The first realised project was the transfer of the “Kmen pojištěnců” data marketplace. With the customer, the tested properties – especially the reduction of response times from minutes to basically immediately or maximally several seconds – were fully verified. After successful verification, it was decided at the beginning of 2010 to transfer the entire existing solution to the QlikView environment.

The high level of work comfort for the end user logically was apparent in the number of end users. Following the transition of the entire solution, the number of end users increased from approximately 15 to more than 100 and is continually rising. An appreciable advantage for the customer is also the fact that end users of the system now work with applications completely intuitively and do not require any special training. Requests for the creation reports and ad hoc analyses by IT specialists fundamentally declined. Users are able to perform the necessary analysis themselves.

Evaluation – benefit for the client

Today, analytical information on the current situation and trends in all known important areas of ZPMV’s business is no longer the privilege of only a few individuals in management or in specialised departments, but is available to all employees who need such information for their work. This enables faster, higher-quality and more effective decision making at all levels of management, as well as better communication between the company’s management and its employees. The utilised technology supports delegation of certain decisions from the level of the top management to middle management in the spirit of the latest trends in organisational management (every worker in the organisation has access to information that is needed for decision-making).

According to published financial and performance parameters, ZPMV is now one of the Czech Republic’s most highly rated health-insurance companies. Thanks to its high-quality management, it effectively handles the demanding situations and requirements that it has had to face in the turbulent environment of Czech healthcare in the past five years. The economic results of ZPMV indicate that its economic situation is stable in the long term. Doctors and healthcare facilities rank ZPMV as the most reliable health insurer with comprehensive, high-quality and flexible services and very good payment discipline. And the management information system developed by KOMIX also deserves credit for these results achieved by ZPMV.