Situation

In 2015, after telemedicine legislation was enacted, there was a spike in new applications for medical licensure in the State of Alaska. This surge coincided with a steady increase in the volume of new applications for licensure coming into the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.

Critical Issue

The result of this surge in applicants was a substantial rise in the workload of the Medical Board, creating long delays in application processing.  For example, at one point, the Board had a 6 month backlog in applications. In turn, it was difficult for applicants to receive status updates, and facilities, concerned about their ability to provide adequate patient care, complained about the long processing times.

Needs

  • Additional staff to meet increasing workload
  • A streamlined system that eliminated duplication of steps and unnecessary steps, and introduced on-line tools to speed up the process

PGS Provided

In addition to hiring more staff to better address the workload, the DCCED team used Professional Growth Systems’ Process Advantage® to document the existing licensure process and identify the root causes of delays in their system. The cause of each delay was evaluated to determine whether it served a legitimate function or was simply an outdated or even obsolete step in the process. Solutions like an online application system and changes to statutory regulations were identified and implemented successfully through use of the toolbox in Process Advantage®.

Results

Throughout the implementation process, the Division received positive feedback from both credentialing agencies and licensure applicants. Through the many improvements identified by the project team with the help of Process Advantage®, the Division significantly improved the response time and communication with applicants, as well as making the process easier and more efficient, thereby reducing complaints from both facilities and applicants.

Said Fred Parady, Deputy Commissioner, "The project turned out well, and Bill Dann of PGS was instrumental."