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YNHHS’ COVID-19 Call Center quickly becomes go-to resource during pandemic

covid call center 

More than 100 employees from different roles and departments staff the YNHHS COVID-19 Call Center 

March 9 was definitely not a typical day at work for Yale New Haven Hospital Oncology social worker Jonathan Spodick, LCSW.

With some training and a script, he and more than a dozen other employees from clinical and non-clinical departments throughout the health system began answering phones in Yale New Haven Health’s COVID-19 call center at 7 am.

Designed and launched in just a few days, the center marked the first time YNHHS has set up a system for employees, clinicians and patients who speak all languages to call in with questions. By 1 pm that first day, the call center had received about 300 calls. On March 16, the center received 2,676 calls from throughout the United States and Canada.

Staff answering the phones provide general information about the virus and send callers requiring more information or a clinical assessment to YNHHS clinical staff in the center. If indicated, center clinicians can conduct phone or video consultations with callers and recommend ambulatory COVID-19 testing.

“We’re providing information and advice on how to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus, and what people should do if they think they have symptoms,” said Christian Pettker, MD, YNHHS associate chief quality officer, who oversees the call center with Maribeth Cabie, YNHHS director of Clinical Redesign. “Where appropriate, we also want to keep people who might have been exposed to COVID-19 from visiting the hospital or their physicians’ offices and potentially spreading the infection.”

The call center is open 7 am - 7 pm seven days a week. The number is 833-275-9644 (833-ASK-YNHH).