In 2008, the DSHS Economic Services Administration, Community Services Division, began analyzing how business processes could be streamlined in order to meet an increased demand for services with decreasing resources. The Administration is divided into four divisions: the Community Services Division (CSD) responsible for issuing food, cash, child care and medical benefits; the Division of Child Support (DCS); the Disability Determination Services Division; and the Operations Support Division (OSD).
This website highlights the initiatives implemented to streamline business practices.
Service Delivery Review
The first project started was for the Community Services Division (CSD). CSD is responsible for issuing food, cash, child care and medical benefits to Washington residents. The project, called “Service Delivery Review” (SDR), used Lean concepts and principles to analyze business processes and procedures and developed more than sixty recommendations for improvement. The project was started in October, 2008 and completed by November, 2010.
Lean teams were formed structured after the "walk of the client" through CSD services. CSD transitioned its business model from a caseload assignment model (one client/customer at a time) to process management model. By managing overall processes and workflow and looking at the bigger picture instead of focusing on one client at a time, CSD was able to:
Reduce the time clients waited for an interview by 99.9% from 3-4 weeks to 30-45 minutes)
Increase the number of applications processed from the same day from <10% to >80%
Increase the percent of applications processed timely from 94% to 97.7%
Reduce the number of call centers and toll-free numbers from 63 to 1
Stablilize application processing accuracy levels from 96.2% to 96.8%
Increase the use of their online application from <20% to >50%
Launched a community partnership program that now has more than 700 partners
Launched two mobile offices to reach remote and underserved populations
Through a public-private partnership, the Washington State Benefit Portal Partnership Project launched the Washington Connection benefit portal via a series of releases between December 2010 and August 2011.
A web-based universal application, this portal makes it easier for low-income individuals and families to screen for eligibility and apply for a broad array of services and benefits online. These services include food, cash, and medical assistance; child care subsidies; long-term care services and support; and drug and alcohol treatment. Washington Connection is available in both English and Spanish.
For services that require different application processes, the portal provides contact information and links about where people can apply for those services through “Explore Options” or during the “Am I Eligible” screening process. These services include: WIC Nutrition Program, Housing Assistance, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Tribal TANF, Basic Health, assistance for Veterans, Child Support, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Supplement Security Income.
More information is available in this overview document.