Our Health Care Institution Branch Licensing Architectural Team has successfully streamlined processes, maximized resources and reduced the time it takes to review and approve architectural plans and specifications required by rule. This is critically important because architectural plans and specifications must meet the adopted 2010 Facility Guidelines Institute regulations before a new health care institution such as a hospital, long-term care facility, and residential center can be licensed to operate or modifications approved. The Licensing Architectural Team processes almost 500 applications a year, so you can imagine all the administrative and substantive work that is being done every day.
Six months ago, staff began mapping the whole process and identifying places where the process bogged down. They reworked the flow to create a faster path for the approval of architectural plans and specs, while still maintaining the appropriate safety reviews. In August, our first application went through the new process. The results were a 50 percent reduction in time, from about 55 days to 28 days. Fast forward to December and we have seen even more improvement. The old applications are cleared out, including one that had been in process for more than 300 days. Now the oldest project we have on file is just over 60 days.