A Report of the Contingency Procedures and Effectiveness of the “1922 Disease Reporting and Consultation Service Center” During the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic
Mei-Chen Peng1, Li-Li Ho1, Shih-Hao Liu1, Fa-Wei Tang2, Su-Jane Shiue3,Shu-Min Chang3
2011 Vol.27 NO.9
Correspondence Author： Mei-Chen Peng
A 24-hour, toll-free infectious disease consultation hotline-1922- has been operated by Taiwan CDC since 2004. This special telephone line provides services for disease reporting, consultation and propagation of disease prevention policies, and has participated in several severe disease epidemics during the past 7 years. Help-seeking and consultation telephone calls reached the highest peak during H1N1 influenza pandemic. Thus, an analysis of the contingency procedures and responses of customer service personnel at the 1922 service center during H1N1 pandemic (from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010) provides an important reference for improving the services.
13,291 person-times (average 37 person-times per day) had been invested in 1922 service center and 130,778 calls had been serviced. Among these calls, 109,308 calls (83.6%) were direct dials of this toll-free number and 21,470 calls (16.4%) were transferred from Taiwan CDC. 125,159 calls (95.7%) were answered directly by 1922 online service staffs and 5,619 (4.3%) were transferred to Taiwan CDC for appropriate services. In addition, 2,603 people (0.2%) terminated their calls without completing the consultation. H1N1 influenza ranked the highest among the diseases for which help or consultation was sought (96,190 calls, 73.6%). We also analyzed the content of all questions about H1N1. 76.7% of all calls responded via the interactive voice response system pertained to requests about facilities providing H1N1 vaccination service, while 47.6% calls responded by a customer service representative pertained to the seeking of H1N1 influenza-related information. Furthermore, 57.3% of calls transferred to CDC were related to vaccination. Six waves of survey on public satisfaction with the 1922 service center were conducted, and the average level of satisfaction was over 70%.
In our investigation, consultations or assistance requests about infectious diseases to the hotline tend to dramatically increase during certain disease epidemics or any sudden event. Via this hotline, people may obtain disease information and questions may be clarified timely. This service has been contracted to a private telephone company and, thus, sufficient customer service staffs were recruited promptly and were trained with professional knowledge for a pandemic. This system decreases the strain on CDC’s human resources and reduces the chances of CDC’s phone lines being overwhelmed with requests from the public and thus not able to meet the demand of daily disease control work. Our investigation has confirmed that the “1922 disease reporting and consultation service center” provides an important service in disease prevention.