Roswell Park Cancer Institute: Case Study

Streamlines Reporting, Optimizes Tracking

At Roswell Park, a renowned center for cancer research and treatment, patients come from a wide variety of referral sources. Tracking information on regional referral trends is crucial to commanding market share and optimizing outreach efforts. But, as Roswell Park Cancer Institute (Roswell) learned, it’s not just about implementing any technology to make this happen. It’s about finding the right technology that provides the right solutions.


“The question has always been how to get a better understanding of the oncology patient and provider community. We have a good system that shows where our patients are coming from, and which doctors are sending them,” explains Thomas Schiffler, a strategic analyst at Roswell. The problem, he notes, was figuring out where patients were going when they weren’t coming to their facility. Even though they had a good system for internal data, “We had always kind of struggled with grouping doctors and providers into the practice they’re employed by…this made it difficult to track where new-patient referrals were coming from.”

To solve this challenge, 3 years ago they implemented a software solution. But, from the very early stages, there were serious issues. “It struggled with getting data out of the system. You could run a report, there’d be a list of connections, and you couldn’t get that out into an Excel format. You’d have to take a picture of it, or a screenshot and then put it into something, or work closely with their reps to have them run you an Excel file.” For an analyst working with data, this was clearly a problem, as Schiffler found it arduous to share his findings with others in his organization.

Knowing that this software did not meet their needs for data reporting to the various vice presidents and directors, they sent out an RFP—hoping to find a solution that would not only interpret claims data, but also turn it into visible, actionable market insight.

The Marketware Solution

With its data analytics capabilities, its customized dashboards and its ability to export data into accessible reports, Marketware proved to be the best candidate for the job. Mr. Schiffler says “Marketware gives us the data to see bi-directional connections between providers. We can then infer how patients move between providers.”

Unlike the first solution Roswell tried, Marketware offered the capability to create a variety of different reports that could be shared with directors and other departments so that everyone is on the same page. He continues, “Marketware can export right into Excel and then use the data in different ways. That was a real important part for us…being able to get data out and run reports on our own. It was pretty customizable, too, if we wanted to do something specific with that data.”

In the day-to-day tasks of business development, the visibility into claims data in Scout and physician profile views in Ascend have been very helpful to Mr. Schiffler’s team: “When new physicians come through our internal data, I go into Marketware and see where the claims data has grouped them previously. And if I need to, I can change that. Marketware has really helped in being able to build that information on physicians and practices.”

Real Outcomes

Marketware’s market insight has helped guide administrators in making informed decisions: “If we’re looking at a physician or practice in the community that we’re interested in, or if we want information on a competitor, we can see what providers they are connected to, where they are potentially sending their patients, where they are getting their patients from…that external information has proven to be very useful.”

Roswell received an added benefit from Marketware’s software that they did not expect initially. Around the same time that they adopted Marketware, they began building their physician liaison program. While they were satisfied with the claims data analytics portion of the Growth Suite, they were very pleased to learn that Marketware also included a physician relationship management system that could track liaison activity. Schiffler says, “A report goes out every month to all of our clinical department administrators and some other key players that shows all activity the liaison has done for the month. This keeps our admins in the loop on whom he’s been contacting, if there are any upcoming meetings scheduled, etc.”

As an analyst he is excited to continue exploring and taking advantage of the many facets that Marketware covers, and he concludes, “If you want to use it for the liaison tracking, that’s worked well for us. If you want to use it for external data to understand the community, that’s worked well…it has been a useful tool for us, for sure.”

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Thomas Schiffler, Strategic Analyst, Roswell Park Cancer Institute