Many state and local governments have made great strides in automating business processes and applying technology to transaction-intensive-based functions. However, some areas, such as provider licensing and certification, may still be dependent upon manual, analog-driven processes initiated by paper forms and support documentation.
Nursing homes, mental health facilities, day care centers, individual practitioners and other providers require state government licenses and/or certifications. State agencies are under increasing pressure to be vigilant in their role of overseeing and regulating providers on behalf of the public, while administering providers fairly and efficiently.
Inefficient, paper-initiated processes that lack self-service components cause providers to spend more time filling out and mailing in forms. Correspondingly, state workers must allocate a greater amount of their day to manually processing these documents – from opening mail and scanning and indexing, to entering data into state systems. These “low-value,” administrative activities are time-consuming and prone to errors.
In addition, state surveyors who are on the front lines of provider oversight, are often overburdened and limited in the number of providers they can manage because of the time it takes to document findings and deficiencies.
Business process automation (BPA) solves these content processing and management problems by reengineering manual processes and applying the right automation technology. BPA is successful when there is a detailed understanding of the agency’s existing licensing and certification processes and a well-defined roadmap for achieving desired outcomes has been developed, socialized, and agreed to by all stakeholders.
BPA preparations should begin with answers to these four key questions:
- What is the agency’s long-term vision and would BPA help align productivity with that vision?
- What improvements is the leadership prepared to champion?
- What are the pain points of licensing coordinators, surveyors and administrators in doing their jobs?
- Are there clear goals for improving provider licensing and certification?