Enforcing Public Health Law: Improving the Administrative Hearing Process to Reduce Staff Time
The aim of the initiative was to reduce staff time associated with the administrative hearing process from 6 hours per hearing to 5 hours per hearing in the Onondaga County Health Department's (OCHD's) Division of Environmental Health, Food Protection Section. In discussions with the quality improvement (QI) coach, the QI team decided to work with a local facilitator to use the Lean process for this project. The team began by creating a process map to outline the steps that occur from the time a restaurant or facility fails an inspection to the time a hearing is held. With the help of the facilitator, the team then completed a value stream mapping process to identify possible areas for improvement. The team prioritized these areas and brainstormed solutions for the top three. The three interventions involved procedural changes and an information technology solution. The two procedural interventions were successfully implemented and resulted in a savings of 15 hours of staff time for the 7 administrative hearings that were conducted over the 4-month intervention period. Before the interventions, holding 7 hearings would have required 42 hours of staff time. After implementing the two interventions, only 27 hours of staff time were required for 7 hearings. The time saved was calculated separately for each intervention. Additional savings of $220 in certified mail costs were realized during the study period. It has been recommended to the Commissioner of Health that the procedural changes be formally adopted and made permanent.
Shultz, R. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Enforcing Public Health Law: Improving the Administrative Hearing Process to Reduce Staff Time . Wed, 05/28/2014 - 21:57. Available at http://phqix.org/content/enforcing-public-health-law-improving-administrative-hearing-process-reduce-staff-time. Accessed March 8, 2021.