SharpMail™ is our powerful text manipulation tool for creating good-looking text – suitable for addressing personalized mailings – from uppercase name and address data. CarePrecise itself uses SharpMail to produce our CarePrecise ProCase product, which contains the properly-cased names and practice addresses of the more than 6.8 million U.S. healthcare providers. It runs within Microsoft Access very quickly, re-casing approximately 100,000,000 data fields in under three hours, on a standard office desktop computer.
In study after study, it has been shown that direct mail that is addressed in properly-cased text is significantly more likely to get opened and considered more favorably. SharpMail, developed by CarePrecise coders, has been in use since 1992 in multiple applications, and is frequently updated with new lookup entries and algorithm improvements. SharpMail 7.0 is the current version, released in August, 2020.
SharpMail intelligently applies uppercase and lowercase within name and address fields, and creates correct salutations and attention lines based on the available data in the CarePrecise healthcare provider data..
Name fields in original data (shown concatenated):
MR K SEAMUS MACKENSIE JR DO
SharpMail Output: Dr. K. Seamus MacKensie, Jr. DO
Salutation - SharpMail Output:
SharpMail Output - Formal: Dr. MacKensie
SharpMail Output - Casual: Seamus
No gender clues available in name data:
AALIYAH Y KADHAFI MSCE
SharpMail Output - Attention Line: Ms. Aaliyah Y. Kadhafi, MSCE
SharpMail Output - Formal Salutation: Ms. Kadhafi
HOW IT WORKS
Genderization and Honorifics
SharpMail uses its Names_Genderize table, a list of many thousands of names with a known highly common gender, in two ways. First, each record is genderized so that a correct salutation can be created, as shown above. When it is not appropriate to use the name prefix "Dr." based on credentials, SharpMail will use Ms. or Mr. (unless the individual has listed a different name prefix preference, such as "Mm." or "Mrs.", in which case SharpMail will use the individual's preference) based on the individual's gender. In cases where no preference is given, "Dr." is not appropriate based on credentials in the Names_Cred table, and the name does not have a highly common gender (such as "Leslie") SharpMail offers the option of making the salutation use only the first name or "sir or madam", and other options can be used as well.
Names of people who have a military rank, religious or political honorific are handled with another large lookup table, Names_Prefices. It solves the problem of properly casing "HRM" (His Royal Majesty - perhaps not so common), "Lt. Col." (Lieutenant), "PV2" (Private Second Class), "Mons." (Monsignor), "Rev." (Reverend), "Sr." (Sister or Señor), and so on.
Even if a physician's reported name prefix isn't "Dr," SharpMail gives you the option of using the "Dr." honorific in the salutation and the full name, as shown in this screenshot:
Properly casing name suffixes, like "Esq.", "Jr.", "III", or "XI", can be tricky. This is handled using the name suffix lookup table, Names_Suffices.
Companies' names follow somewhat different rules than people's names do. They must be treated with all of the person name rules, plus an additional lookup process that uses the Names_Company table to handle such issues as acronyms and numerical prefixes. Examples are "3M", "AcuNext", "3com", and, by the way, "CarePrecise". Because company names do not come with each word in a separate field like the people's names (FirstName, MiddleName, etc.), they have to first be split apart and each word handled separately. For example, "Familia d'Souza Services, Inc." must be parsed, and each word tested against the Names table and Names_Cred table.
Many names can simply be properly cased by capitalizing the first letter, and lower-casing the remainder of the name. But there are a lot of names, like "McBain" that must be inner-capitalized. The second use of the name list is to act as a lookup for the correct inner capitalization. In addition to the Names table, SharpMail uses a proprietary algorithm to properly inner-capitalize names that are not in the list.
Properly casing credentials requires an exhaustive lookup table, Names_Cred, of healthcare industry credentials. An obvious one is "Ph.D.", which often appears in records variously as "PH.D." as "PHD". The credentials lookup list solves this problem.
SharpMail contains an algorithm for properly casing street addresses, as well. For instance, the address "1534 SOUTH 123RD EAST AVE" is properly cased as "1534 South 123rd East Ave". This process also uses names lookup tables.
Phone and Fax Numbers
Phone and fax numbers in the source data from federal databases are just ten-digit blocks of numbers: 9185551212. SharpMail can reformat them into the more readable format: 918-555-1212.
SharpMail is Open Source
CarePrecise offers the SharpMail system as open source software application in Microsoft Access and Visual Basic for Applications. Buyers are licensed to re-purpose the SharpMail algorithms and lookup tables in any way that they like, provided that they have purchased a copy of CarePrecise Gold or CarePrecise Platinum from CarePrecise LLC. Buyers are NOT permitted to include the SharpMail algorithms or lookup tables in any form, in whole or in part, in a commercial product that will be shared or sold outside of the buyer's own organization. SharpMail may NOT be used to properly case data that will be sold to others, distributed in bulk or made publicly available. Special licensing for such application is required; please contact CarePrecise Sales.
Please note that CarePrecise does not provide technical support for re purposed programming; however, paid technical support may be available depending on the use case.
Because CP ListMaker's SharpMail system is fully extensible open source code, it can be refitted to many purposes.
HOW TO GET IT
All you have to do to get SharpMail is to purchase CarePrecise Gold ($599) or CarePrecise Platinum ($799) to obtain the CP ListMaker application. CP ListMaker is a Microsoft Access database application that contains SharpMail's code and lookup tables.