Save Your Business While Protecting Your Staff by Proactively Screening Employees to Combat the Pandemic and Avoid Business Disruptions

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption throughout the world as employers and organizations of all sizes attempt to operate while adjusting to the reality of dealing with a deadly, invisible enemy. Remote work is a possibility for some, others, such as manufacturers, retail, and hospitality have had to make significant changes to continue to operate. These organizations need solutions that will allow them to maintain operations safely while protecting their staff and customers.  

One powerful solution is the utilization of third party COVID-19 hotline services, where organizations establish a 24/7 third-party call center to take calls related to screening, contact tracing, and other pandemic related inquiries. 

Hotlines with Business Automation Help Fight Pandemic Spread

These services are call centers that an organization engages to take calls either through a live or automated system on its behalf, generally from employees and other stakeholders. The service is personalized for each organization but typically includes call scripting and call handling guidelines that ensure relevant information is collected from callers and that it is distilled promptly to critical company personnel.  The quicker organizations can act on COVID issues the better the outcome.    

The use of COVID-19 hotlines achieves several objectives: 

  • Tracking COVID-19 symptoms, test results, and exposure
  • Assisting with contact tracing
  • Streamlining employee call-offs and related notifications, shift changes, including scheduling and shift backfilling 
  • Collecting data for federal and state COVID reimbursement programs.  

Helping Track Individual, Shift, Plant, and Organizational Exposure While Preventing Spread

Hotlines are a pre-emptive tool that enables organizations to collect information from employees who aren’t currently on the job and become aware of potential problems before they become larger. This is important because employees who aren’t feeling well and tell their managers after the fact have already jeopardized others. 

Hotlines that collect COVID-19 exposure and testing information can be deployed across organizations and assist with identifying individual exposure as well as monitoring activity across shifts, plants, divisions, and other groups within an organization. This can help managers and other responsible parties respond more quickly, such as identifying co-workers who may have been exposed, doubling down on disinfecting procedures, and working to fill shifts before there is downtime or a loss of production. 

How COVID-19 Screening Hotlines Work

COVID-19 hotlines work by establishing a dedicated phone number, generally toll-free, that an organization publicizes to employees. These phone numbers are manned by third party call center staff 24 hours a day or provided through an automated system. Hotline vendors then work with the organization to establish specific call scripting and processing guidelines to ensure every call is handled appropriately. 

A typical COVID-19 hotline may address the following call types: 

  • COVID-19 suspected: The employee is asked about their symptoms, when the symptoms began, when they were last at work, whether a physician has been contacted, if there has been a test and if so, the results, and whether there any additional details
  • COVID-19 exposure: The employee is asked to describe the exposure, whether the person had tested positive or was suspected, what symptoms that person exhibits, whether the person lives in the same household, when the employee was last at work, and whether there are any additional details
  • General information: If a caller has general questions or inquires about other COVID-19 related resources, or has questions for the organization’s HR department, this call type may be selected. The information provided would vary by organization. 

Other structures may be used, including a dynamic call script that varies based on how the caller answers each question. Regardless, the outcome is classifying the type of call and collecting or disseminating the information relevant to that call type. 

Once a call is completed, organizations would have clearly established message delivery or call escalation guidelines, dependent on the call type, time of day, nature of the call, answers to specific questions, the employee’s plant or department, or other variables. A simplified structure may have all calls emailed and sent via a secure text message to a member of the HR department. 

Establishing a COVID-19 Employee Hotline for Your Workforce

If you are interested in establishing a COVID-19 employee hotline to help your organization in its efforts to combat the pandemic, contact CMS today to learn more about pricing and discuss your organization’s needs. 

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