As part of Governor Doyle’s annual visit to the northwoods, Howard Young Medical Center (HYMC) and Eagle River Memorial Hospital (ERMH) recently hosted Celia Jackson, Secretary of the Department of Regulation and Licensing (DRL). The DRL and related professional boards protect the citizens of Wisconsin by ensuring the safe and competent practice of licensed professionals.
Secretary Jackson and Hector Colon from her executive team shared an update on the areas their department is working on to assist healthcare facilities:
- In the 2009 – 2011 state budget, a new Medical Board Bureau was formed through new staff positions and transfers within the DRL and will handle all enforcement, credentialing and board service needs for Medical Board professions, with the goal of investigating and resolving cases more timely. Full implementation will take place by January 2010.
- Other developments in physician licensing and regulation include: additional staff to work on processing medical credentialing, reducing the time required to obtain a credential; streamlined process for physicians who are already licensed in Minnesota to obtain a medical license in Wisconsin; and revival of the “Regulatory Digest” to share information on new laws, rules and initiatives as well as disciplinary actions.
- Nurse licensees will be required to submit information regarding Wisconsin’s nursing workforce so as to assure a competent and adequate supply of nurses for the future.
- Potential graduates will again this spring be able to start their licensing process prior to graduation by downloading an application from the DRL website. This initiative was created to minimize the flux of licensing requests that arrive to the DRL after graduation.
- A task force will be reviewing the current Impaired Professionals Procedure (IPP) program to examine the way other states address the problem and make recommendations for improvements to Wisconsin’s program.
- DRL’s new “E-Credential” initiative will allow credential holders to print their own renewal as soon as the DRL processes the renewal. The DRL will no longer mail credentials to individuals who renew on-line.
The DRL serves the public and the professionals they regulate by fairly administering education, experience, and examination requirements, setting professional practice standards, and ensuring compliance by enforcing occupational licensing laws. The department is organized into the following divisions: Professional Credential Processing, Board Services, Enforcement, and Management Services, along with the Office of the Secretary.
The Department licenses and regulates 132 different types of credentials in more than 58 professional fields. The agency’s 114.32 FTE employees issue approximately 27,500 new credentials each year and renews more than 350,000 credential holders each biennium. The agency also provides centralized administrative services to 64 boards, councils, and advisory committees. The boards, councils, and advisory committees have varying levels of responsibility and professional oversight based on statutory provisions.