VD hotline: an evaluation.
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VD hotline: an evaluation.

  • Published Date:

    1976 May-Jun

  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 91(3):231-235
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-771.71 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    A VD hotline started in January 1973 at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, N.J., was evaluated with the following results. Hotline operators handled 260 calls in 1973. The typical caller was a 20-year-old employed male who heard about the hotline from a friend, wanted information about clinic hours and costs, and had questions about symptoms of venereal disease. At Monmouth Medical Center, venereal disease patients who go to the emergency room receive specific diagnosis and therapy, and in the clinic they receive broader medical care. The hotline encourages patients to go to the clinic or to their private physicians. Visits to Monmouth Medical Center for venereal disease increased during the second half of 1972 from 356 to 545 (53%). For the emergency room alone, the rise was 17% and for the clinic, 68%. There was an increase of 20% in the number of patients treated in the emergency room, but the number treated in the clinic leveled. Thus, there was a substantial increase in visits, especially to the clinics where the most care is provided, and a modest increase in treated patients. The causal contribution of the hotline to these increases cannot be stated with certainty. The cost of operating the hotline was $14.70 per call. While high, it might be defended on the basis of avoiding the higher costs of untreated disease. The cost can be reduced by making the hotline serve multiple health purposes. The hotline appeared useful but costly. This retrospective evaluation was hampered by the unavailability of some critical data.
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