July 11, 2008 DHS Director's messages on the web
To: All DHS employees
From: DHS assistant director for AMH, Bob Nikkel
In Director Bruce Goldberg's message last week, he promised you that the department's division administrators would help create a clearer picture of what we expect the DHS Transformation Initiative to achieve. I have the honor of being the first assistant director to kick off this six-week series of messages.
Assistant Director Bob Nikkel
Assistant Director
Bob Nikkel

The Addictions and Mental Health Division has made a strong commitment to the Transformation Initiative. Two of our staffers - one from headquarters and two from Oregon State Hospital - are entering the first class of "Lean leaders." Lean leaders are critically important to the success of Transformation. These are the employees who will lead the improvements that will help us provide more efficient and effective client service. By mid-August we should be ready to get started on the first process improvement efforts.

Here's a snapshot of the kinds of improvements we are looking at making. (More details will be available soon.)

  • Today's paper-based system for tracking patient care will become an electronic medical record that lists the care, treatment and medications for every patient regardless of when and where they receive treatment. The process will work in the same way a college record does - all your courses show up in your transcript regardless of where you took each class.
  • We will have a less complicated and faster recruitment and hiring process that targets priority positions and reduces the pressure on existing staff to work overtime to compensate for vacancies.
  • We will reduce overhead costs by contracting for bulk purchases of patient medications and other supplies, which will include use of a pharmacy benefit management system for patient medications.

Much good work and many improvements in our addictions and mental health prevention and treatment programs have taken place during the past few years, and these initiatives will continue that ongoing transformation. The goal, as always, is to provide the high-quality services Oregonians need and deserve.

The more ways we can find to gain efficiencies and streamline processes, the more time and money we will have available to reinvest in client services. Our clients, along with our employees and service partners, will reap the benefits of this reinvestment well into the future. That's the definition of a leading health and human services agency, and that's the future I want to see for AMH, OSH and Blue Mountain Recovery Center.

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DHS on the web