As a healthcare company, Signature Performance is continuously seeking new, innovative ways to improve the health of our clients’ business and make the lives of the people we work with better. For almost twenty years, we have been focused on boosting financial health and creating efficiencies in healthcare administration. While we are still working diligently to lower healthcare administrative costs and burdens, we have dedicated new resources and our best industry professionals to start exploring how mental health affects traditional health and how we can converge the two to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for those who need it most.
Having served Military health systems for almost 20 years, Veterans hold a special place in the hearts and minds of Signature Associates. We are also committed to hiring and employing Veterans through Military.com's Veteran Hiring Commitment Program and currently have more than 40 Veterans on our Signature team. So, in 2021, when Signature partnered with the Jeffrey Raikes School of Computer Science and Management at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL) to collaborate with students on the research, development, and solutioning for a software-based project concept, we knew exactly where we should focus our energy and resources. Throughout this highly selective program, our team of developers and students pooled their best ideas and resources to create an intuitive sentiment listening and awareness product for our Customer Experience Center (CEC) with the goal of helping provide better Mental Health resources to our Nation’s Veterans.
Improving Access to Mental Health Resources through Contact Center Technology
Our Customer Experience Center (CEC) employs over 700 Associates Nationwide who are committed to helping Veterans, their families, and the healthcare providers who serve them. One of the most rewarding aspects of our business is working with Veteran communities, hearing their stories, and helping them resolve their healthcare payment and claims issues. Although our team of Customer Service Representatives are highly trained in resolving medical claim issues and disputes, they sometimes interact with Veterans who are experiencing mental health crises and can struggle to provide the care that they need in a timely manner. With millions of customer service calls logged so far, we knew something needed to be done and we were called to develop an innovative solution to better identify and address Veteran safety concerns that can arise during conversations between Veterans and our Associates.
According to a recent survey, 44% of Veterans who have served in recent wars have endured problems readjusting after returning home, most of which are mental health related. Unfortunately, a portion of the 300,000+ calls we receive each month, include Veterans who are experiencing mental health crises including suicidal or homicidal ideation. Our team, alongside the Raikes students, are working to develop a real-time altering system that will automatically detect as well as streamline the process of handling crisis calls within our CEC. By utilizing advanced analytics, sentiment analysis, and AI technology, we are building a machine learning model by using thousands of identified and labeled samples from data sets of over 2.4 million suicidal ideation, phrases, notes, comments, and letters.
How Does it Work?
Upon development and testing completion, our Sentiment Awareness technology will work behind the scenes while our Associates communicate with Veterans to detect certain keywords, phrases, or comments that statistically result in a higher chance of mental health crisis.
For example, if our system flags a crisis-based call, feedback from the system will be sent to the customer service representative (CSR) through an AI driven alerting tool, which enables the CSR to make the final determination of the presence of a crisis and if they agree, alert a lead CSR group to a crisis scenario at the click of a button. This will drastically improve response times, allowing our machine learning model to set a new standard for detecting crisis scenarios. Once triggered, the tool will capture information needed to transition the call to the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL), enabling the CSR to focus fully on interacting and supporting the Veteran in need.
Signature Performance and World Mental Health Day
As we recognize World Mental Health Day this October, we wanted to take the time to reflect on all those who we have the honor of serving through our work in our Customer Experience Center. This year’s World Mental Health Day theme is, ‘Mental health is a universal human right,’ and with healthcare costs on the rise, we are more committed than ever to exploring every angle to ensure healthcare is affordable and available to everyone. At Signature, we are proud to serve a population of people who have given so much and who are so deserving of high-quality healthcare.
It is our hope that with this technology, we can better address safety concerns and can reduce the number of mental health crises and suicides within the Veteran community and beyond. We believe a successful completion of this project would increase access to mental health resources and positively transform the healthcare experience for the over 6 million Veterans and their family members in the United States.
For additional information about Signature’s dedication to lowering healthcare administrative costs and burdens, go to www.signatureperformance.com/aboutus.