Critical Signal Technologies Brings Social Work to Tech Platform

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Critical Signal Technologies, Inc. (CST) is expanding its social work monitoring model. As a part of the company’s remote patient monitoring programs, CST now has social workers engaging patients with care coordination and community support services.

In 2014, CST hired Sherri Gerber-Somers, LMSW, to lead a specialized social work team within CST’s 24/7 monitoring center. Gerber-Somers, who holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan, the top graduate school for social work according to U.S. News and World Report, and has more than 25 years practice experience, is establishing formal internship programs with local colleges and universities. Currently, CST has BSW and MSW students from Wayne State University actively participating.

Beyond the internship program, BSW and MSW graduates can join CST to meet the work experience requirement to obtain licensure in Michigan. CST’s monitoring center program is the first of its kind.

“There is great excitement among academic leaders at the various universities we’ve partnered with for our social work model. Social work interns have been very enthusiastic to learn about the unique ways we are using technology to connect remotely to our patients to provide clinical support and access to community resources,” said Gerber-Somers.

CST’s interest in establishing a social work model predates current programs. Jamie Jones, the current vice president of monitoring services, who also holds an MSW, has been with CST since 1998.

Jones remarks, “It’s been rewarding to be part of an innovative team and help lead the transition from a traditional personal emergency response company to a health services organization. We’ve been able to assist patients with a wide range of social work related services. Beyond emergent help, we’ve been able to obtain food assistance, help complete social service applications, arrange low cost and free transportation, and schedule doctor appointments for patients.”

Over the years, CST has explored different staffing models in its monitoring center. According to Jeffery Prough, founder and chief executive officer, most companies in the personal emergency response industry utilize a traditional call center structure. This is a driving force behind CST’s branding of its monitoring center as a “care center” and not a call center.

“In an effort to better understand real patient needs, and better define the different levels of service we were providing to patients, I asked my team to take a deeper dive into call activity. The data revealed patients were reaching out to us for many things beyond just emergent needs,” said Prough. “There was tremendous effort being made by our Care Center team to coordinate care for patients. The two MSWs on my leadership team educated me on the tremendous value we could bring both patients and clinicians 24/7 through social support, and other non-emergent interactions. To say this additional level of service was needed was an understatement. Today we are helping to change the lives of the patients, families, and caregivers we serve.”

CST is looking to expand its social work internship program with the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University in 2017.

About Critical Signal Technologies (CST):

Critical Signal Technologies, Inc. (CST) is a health services company with an innovative approach to remote patient monitoring. CST helps patients live independently, avoid unnecessary hospital visits, manage chronic disease, and coordinate care. CST has a 37 year history in the industry, which has helped it build turnkey solutions to increase patient engagement and improve care outcomes. More than 98 percent of CST’s business is comprised of direct referrals from physicians, nurses, case managers, physical therapists, and senior housing property managers. CST’s service suite includes personal emergency response systems, wellness concierge on-call, readmission management solutions, remote care coordination, wellness coaching, next-generation senior housing pull cords, telehealth, and social work.

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Hayley Steinkopf
Critical Signal Technologies
since: 02/2011
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Critical Signal Technologies (CST)

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