After a technology upgrade to the state Board of Registered Nursing licensing program created a backlog of applications, Assemblymember Kristin Olsen, (R-Modesto) has resubmitted a request for an audit of the system.
Olsen wants the audit completed by March of next year, and specifically wants to audit the policies and procedures of adopting, updating and installing new electronic processing systems within the Department of Consumer Affairs, specifically the system called BreEZe that is currently used by the Board of Registered Nursing.
Last fall, the DCA began unrolling a new paperless system called BreEZe, a process that will eventually include all 37 boards and bureaus overseen by the Department. According to DCA, this system will ultimately provide improved access to services, greater ease of use for stakeholders and improved back-office functionality, which will enhance licensing and enforcement efficiency.
However, after the BRN’s implementation of BreEZe, a number of nursing students, teachers and hospital administrators experienced a great deal of difficulty due to a backlog of 4,000 licensing applications. After the unsuccessful rollout, graduates were left unable to secure local jobs, local hospitals were understaffed – and not one individual or organization was able to get clear explanations, updates or timelines from BRN, because repeated phone calls went unanswered.
The backlog has since been eliminated, but Olsen says she wants to ensure the focus remains on the government working for the people.
“While I applaud efforts to improve services, functionality and customer experience, the exact opposite occurred with the BRN’s launch of BreEZe,” Olsen said. “It is simply unacceptable for people to be held in limbo due to failed technology implementations.
“We need to get people through the system and into the workforce. We need to make sure this never happens again,” said Olsen. “I am hopeful the answers learned from the audit will help guide better decision-making when it comes to purchasing and implementing new technology systems throughout any and all state departments and agencies. Technology provides great opportunities to improve government efficiency, and we must identify the State’s weak points that have prevented successful implementations in a wide variety of departments in order to better serve Californians.”