Effectiveness Evaluation of 1922 Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline

Chiu-Mei Chen1,4, Jer-Jea Yan2, Sylvia Shu-Hui Tseng2, Shiang-Lin Yang3, Tsung-Hsi Wang1

2010 Vol.26 NO.5

Correspondence Author: Chiu-Mei Chen



Lessons learnt from 2003 SARS outbreak indicated that during an infectious disease epidemic, effective communication with the public is crucial to avoid misinterpretation on government’s action, disease control, and prevention policies. In response to possible future infectious disease outbreaks as well as the huge loading of customer service center and for better mobility, Taiwan CDC instituted “1922 Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline” on February 17, 2004, which provides 24-hour service on disease report, communicable disease consultation, prevention policy promotion, and control measure education to the public throughout the year.
The operation is widely used by the public. This hotline has served as a contact point between the public and government, e.g. news event of an infectious TB patient leaving from the hospital without permission, and information security incident. From 2004 to July 2008, the Call Center currently serves over 200,000 person-times, and the majority users are from northern Taiwan. On average, the center received 4100 calls each month, and 33.3% of them (approximately 1,000 calls) were transferred to service representative to answer. The most consulting concerns are enterovirus, followed by influenza, and influenza vaccination. Average call completion rate is 99.0%, and successful response rate is 98.0%. During the enterovirus outbreak in June 2008, the 1922 Call Center successfully served as a platform of communication, this evidenced the best feature for the call center.
Conclusion: It is necessary to construct a single consultation window for infectious disease control, works on 24-hour. The platform could assure a smooth and universal notification of communicable disease, it also provides consultation services. Since the customer service affair is not the expertise of Taiwan CDC, the call service center is established by contracting to the professionals. That could save personnel and building costs, could expand the lines quickly in accordance to epidemic needs. Since most of the public consultation is responded by the service representatives in call center, the infectious disease professionals can focus on the epidemic investigation and policy implementation, which could share the responsibility and cooperate to combat against the epidemic.
In the future, for the management and rapid information exchange, the system will expand its capacity and promote for the 1922 hotline. Furthermore, Taiwan CDC plans to provide multi-language versions to the remote areas and language minorities. As for long-term goal, Taiwan CDC will actively promote and communicate the control measures with the public.