3min read

How to Keep Your Coronavirus Hotline Working with a Proportionate Response

Many governments launched failed hotlines in the past week. Obviously we’re all doing our best, and reacting real-time to a quickly developing pandemic. But too many governments have rushed to put an under-resourced hotline in place.  When that happens, the phones don’t get picked up, citizens lose faith in their leaders, sick patients don’t get treatment (and spread disease further.), and leadership doesn’t have the information to decide quickly and accurately.
That doesn’t have to be you. ComplianceLine is compiling disaster hotline best practices to circulate this weekend. For now, check out the coronavirus hotline disasters below, and make sure you’re choosing the right approach, structure, and partner to keep your pandemic response on track.

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The worst of the pandemic is yet to come.

Exponential growth of coronavirus

Don’t be a Coronavirus Hotline Failure

Tennessee – staffed by two people – 94% calls ignored – FAIL (read here)

Tennessee started their hotline with only two people. They fielded a few hundred calls, but couldn’t even track all the calls they were missing. As cases ballooned, and concern ramped up, the hotline was unable to advise citizens on how to keep the virus contained, and unable to funnel real-time information to leaders.

Seattle – over 20 min waits and calls being dropped – FAIL (read here)

Seattle is considered by many to be ground-zero for COVID-19 in the US. They set up a hotline, but volume quickly overwhelmed them. Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) coronavirus hotline was dropping calls from Mon-Wed this week as the spread of the virus (and leadership’s awareness of its true scope) got out of control.

Australia – multiple crashed hotlines – FAIL (read here)

Australia had plans and resources in place, and experiences rapid spread of COVID-19 earlier than many US locales. Still, their predictions for the impact of this pandemic were insufficient to cover the actual numbers of cases and concerns. Several states had hotlines crash and they continue to re-address their mistakes which takes attention from the many other actions required to respond to this crisis.

Idaho – hundreds of calls above capacity – PENDING (read here)

Idaho, as recently as late this week, did not have an especially high incidence of confirmed cases (compared to other US states). Their hotline was still inundated with calls with questions, concerns, expected cases, and the like. They have been getting hundreds of more calls above their predicted capacity, and there is no telling what information they’re missing when wait times are too long, people hang up, or calls just can’t get through.

Exponential growth of COVID-19 cases

A proportionate response keeps case growth flat

Every country, business and household is adapting real-time to the challenges of this pandemic. A critical component for crisis management is an effective hotline to support community fears and realities. ComplianceLine has experience handling 100,000s of complex, healthcare, and crisis calls.
It’s estimated cases are 24x larger than the diagnosed number, or 160x the current death count. As we realize how out of control coronavirus can get, the right responses is critica to avoid unnecessary death, economic damage, and social disaster. Compliance leaders need a hotline built to handle the volume AND complexity of this pandemic. Get the information you need to respond appropriately – and your employees or citizens the assurance that leadership is on top of the crisis.

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