Reducing wait time for residential facility licensing by more than half

Reducing wait time for residential facility_hero
Dept of Health Services
Problem Statement

In July 2017, the average time at the Arizona Department of Health Services for processing initial and change of ownership applications for residential facility licenses was 50 calendar days. Licensure delays impact citizens' access to licensed assisted living facilities, behavioral health facilities for children and adults, adult day health care facilities and more.

Action Taken

Because processing time greatly impacts the customer experience, the Bureau of Residential Facilities Licensing made a goal to reduce the lead time for issuance of a license to 22 calendar days or less by June 2018. 

Following Lean principles and tools, the team created a project charter outlining a problem statement, project scope, targets and measures. The team used the seven-step problem-solving technique and other quality improvement tools (process mapping, cause and effect diagram and Pareto chart) to reach their goals. 

Once data collection and analysis was complete, improvements were deployed among all employees in the bureau. Based on the team’s analysis and available data, a recurring meeting was organized to prioritize application reviews and survey caseloads based on criteria developed by the team.


Results & Impact

With a continued focus on workflow improvements and caseload prioritization, the Bureau of Residential Facilities Licensing team exceeded their target. Residential facility application processing office time was reduced to 17 calendar days in June 2018 and currently stands at under 10 calendar days. The team's efforts resulted in residential facility license applicants to be licensed in a shorter period of time, which has increased the public's access to care.

"Residential facility licensing processing time was reduced by 33 calendar days, increasing the public's access to residential care facilities."