The NC Department of Health and Human Services RFA/Contracts Approval Process Goes Lean!

The North Carolina Division of Social Services (NC DSS) completed a Lean Kaizen Event as part of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) Request for Application (RFA)/Contracts Process Improvement Project.

In February 2014 a steering committee was convened to identify, guide and participate in quality improvement and Lean activities to support the development of a streamlined RFA/Contract best-practices process across the Department of Health and Human Services and its divisions. The goal of this project is to decrease the time required for generating an executed contract.

On March 26th the NC DSS volunteered to participate in a Gemba walk and value stream mapping process where the process for initiating an RFA to executing a contract was observed and mapped. The sub-team reconvened in June to review the process and prioritize improvement ideas across three key areas which include RFA development, contract development, and efficient utilization of Open Window (a web-based system for entering and monitoring NC DHHS contracts, grants and services).

The Kaizen Event held September 2-4, provided an opportunity for the sub-team and committee members to develop and test improvements that will not only support the NC DSS internal RFA/Contract review and approval process, but also lead to improvements proposed by the committee Department-wide.  Improvement ideas targeted that will specifically increase efficiencies within the NC DSS internal RFA/Contracts process included developing written instructions for the NC DSS internal RFA process, establishing best practices for posting RFAs to the Division’s website, 5S’ing (for more info on 5S, click here) the Division’s folder to organize documents required for developing a RFA; and revising the Division’s RFA/Contract tracking log.  Improvement ideas targeted that will support the committee’s overall aim included:  standardizing a budget to payment process which will also support the training of RFA reviewers to identify budget errors, developing a best practice timeline for the RFA/Contract review and approval process, and establishing multiple authorities to ensure contracts can be executed timely.

Over the next two months, the DHHS RFA/Contracts Improvement Committee will continue developing and testing improvement ideas with a plan to present recommendations to Department leaders by December 1, 2014.

DSS Kaizen team receive demo of Open Window tracking capabilities.

DSS Kaizen sub-teams hard at work!

 

Programs supported by:

BlueCross BlueShield of NC FoundatoinThe Duke Endowment

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