Door County Medical Center hosts Wisconsin Secretary of Safety and Professional Services Dan Hereth

On Thursday, May 23, Wisconsin Secretary of Safety and Professional Services, Dan Hereth, and Assistant Deputy Secretary, Jennifer Garrett met with leaders and several board members including Rep. Joel Kitchens at Door County Medical Center (DCMC). The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services protects the citizens of Wisconsin by ensuring safe and competent practice of licensed professionals, safety in the construction and use of public and private buildings, and compliance with professional and industry standards. Specifically for healthcare, the Department ensures that those working in organizations such as physicians and registered nurses are qualified individuals to perform their roles to the standards involved within their profession.

Much of the discussion centered on the current time frame for recent nursing school graduates to complete their licensure testing. Typically, a proof of graduation is required before the opportunity to schedule testing through national credentialing centers. Currently, this averages around 31 days, which is already an improvement from recent years, but healthcare organizations would benefit from an even shorter turnaround time for these professionals. The Department is working on technology in partnership with nursing schools to decrease this window so that a soon-to-graduate student can satisfy enough of the requirements to at least get their test scheduled before receiving their diploma. Improving this time gap means nurses can enter the workforce a lot quicker, filling much needed nursing roles in healthcare systems across the state as well as starting to earn an income with their newly acquired degree and license. Consequently, studies have also shown this approach increases the exam success rates for nursing students.

Another topic included physician licensing and improvements being made to that process. The reality is, there aren't enough physicians coming out of United States medical schools, so improvements are forthcoming to get foreign-born and trained physicians licensed in a timelier manner. There are separate residency requirements for foreign-born Physicians and the State is working on particulars with provisional licensing in order for them to enter practice more efficiently. This will also greatly impact the shortage of doctors, especially in rural healthcare areas such as Door County.

A few of the biggest takeaways of the meeting from both the Secretary and Assistant Secretary was their work on trying to secure more permanent positions within the Department of Safety and Professional Services rather than depending on limited term employment staff to complete this very important work. They are working on this package for the budget cycle which is coming up in the next few months and felt this would drastically improve workflow throughout the many project areas their department administers. They stressed the importance of hiring dedicated, knowledgeable staff who would be able to strengthen communication efforts among the many individuals and agencies that depend on them to get these professionals the credentials they need to provide their much needed services to our Wisconsin communities.

Door County Medical Center appreciates the time both Secretary Hereth and Assistant Deputy Secretary Garrett spent with the DCMC team to explain the recent project. Working together to make these process improvements will benefit all Wisconsin citizens through better access to qualified health providers.

Published 5/24/2024 9:00:00 AM
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