Oklahoma Board of Chiropractic Examiners
In 2020, the Oklahoma Board of Chiropractic Examiners deployed Thentia Cloud to make progress on its goal of going 100% paperless.
In accordance with the Oklahoma Chiropractic Practice Act, the Oklahoma Board of Chiropractic Examiners (OBCE) regulates the chiropractic profession in the state of Oklahoma, ensuring licensed chiropractors and new entrants meet the high professional standards required to practice. As a self-funded agency with two full-time administrative staff, adopting the most efficient and cost-effective processes possible is critical to best serve its 1,000 licensees and protect the public interest.
An ambitious goal calls for licensing transformation
In 2007, Executive Director Beth Kidd set an ambitious goal for the agency to go 100% paperless. But to achieve this target, the team would need to transform the outdated paper-based licensing and complaints processes that required mailing thousands of forms and documents each year. These manual processes were not only costly, adding up to thousands of dollars in mailing expenses per year, but also unreliable – the team estimates that up to 25% of information would get lost in the mail, causing issues for both staff and chiropractors.
After resolving to transition to fully digital processes, OBCE implemented an online system to facilitate license renewals for its licensees. But new applications were still processed manually, meaning that application packets containing five or more pages of information needed to be mailed to each new applicant, at a cost of about $3 per envelope incurred by the agency. Complaints were also still processed manually, which required members of the public to print, fill out and mail a complaint form to OBCE – and then wait for it to reach them – before an investigation could be initiated.
Even for license renewals, the process was labor intensive and caused frequent headaches for staff. Renewals and payments were still accepted by mail in addition to the new online portal, and only about 60% of licensees renewed online. For those who opted to renew by mail, staff would have to manually enter information into multiple platforms that didn’t integrate with each other.
“We had a lot of problems with the old portal that we used to use,” says Administrative Assistant Lauren Arnold, explaining further that in addition to staff concerns, chiropractors found accessing and using the system difficult when renewing their licenses.
The expertise that Thentia already had with regulatory boards across the United States and Canada, and the team knowing what we needed and allowing us to add more to it were huge factors – I was sold, and so was our board.
Progress on paperless goal stalls, but Thentia offers a solution
By the time OBCE first connected with Thentia Cloud’s sales team in 2020, progress toward becoming 100% paperless was stalled at around 60%. The agency wanted a new system to streamline its cumbersome licensing processes, but the cost of implementing another system was a top concern.
Kidd says Thentia’s strong track record of success with other Oklahoma agencies and positive reputation with regulators across North America, as well as the affordability and functionality of Thentia Cloud compared to the alternatives, convinced her that Thentia Cloud was the right solution.
“I was super excited because the cost was more affordable, and it was there in our reach,” says Kidd. “The expertise that Thentia already had with regulatory boards across the United States and Canada, and the team knowing what we needed and allowing us to add more to it were huge factors – I was sold, and so was our board.”
Kidd was also very impressed by Thentia’s extensive knowledge of the regulatory ecosystem and familiarity with regulators. When Andre Forget, Thentia’s EVP of Global Enterprise Accounts, showed her how Thentia Cloud could be customized to meet the varying requirements of regulatory bodies, she knew they would be investing in a partner and solution that would benefit the agency long term. “He was speaking my language. He was talking regulation. It didn’t sound like it was going to be a platform that just held information. It was going to work for us,” she says.
of applications now processed digitally
of license renewals now processed digitally
hours of staff time saved per week
in direct mailing costs eliminated
Adoption of Thentia Cloud delivers immediate results
OBCE launched Thentia Cloud in April 2021 in preparation for its annual renewal period. Within weeks of deployment, the agency noticed impressive results. OBCE can now carry out its application and renewal processes entirely online, which has allowed it to become 85% paperless. Kidd notes that the remaining paper-based processes are for forms that require notarization, transcripts sent from educational institutions, and documents that need to be sent to other state agencies that haven’t yet gone digital.
With the implementation of Thentia Cloud, staff no longer need to manually enter information to process applications and renewals. For Arnold, who divides her time between OBCE and the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, Thentia Cloud has freed up valuable hours that she can spend on other duties. She estimates that she saves upwards of 35 hours per week that she once spent manually reconciling paper application and renewal documents.
With the dollars saved from its first renewal period using Thentia Cloud, OBCE estimates that it will eliminate upwards of $1,000 annually in postage fees. The number of licensees who pay their fees online has also dramatically increased, which benefits the agency because accepting payments by check puts it in a higher risk category with state auditors.
OBCE has also seen major improvements to its complaints process as a result of Thentia Cloud, which accepts complaints online and seamlessly integrates all compliance efforts in one ecosystem. “I think more people will be apt to filing a complaint online, so I’ve been pleased,” Kidd says, noting that eliminating the wait time required for mailed-in complaints means they can now be assigned to the appropriate department faster.
Both Kidd and Arnold report that licensee feedback on Thentia Cloud has been unanimously positive. And, importantly, they now have peace of mind that their documents and checks won’t get lost in the mail.
“I’ve been very impressed,” says Kidd. “In fact, almost all of our board members have renewed by now online, and they’ve had very good comments about the process.”
“Since we’ve started with Thentia, we’ve had nothing but good comments about everything,” says Arnold. “They love it. The new portal is nice; it’s easier to access and maneuver around. We’re very impressed.”
Overall, the switch to Thentia Cloud resulted in a much smoother and more efficient renewal period for OBCE in 2021. By mid-July, two weeks after the June 30 deadline for renewals passed, only 5% of licensees had not yet renewed their licenses. In contrast, in a typical year before Thentia Cloud, Arnold estimates that up to 20% of license renewals were not yet completed after the deadline.
Up next: leveraging reporting and notification features to further improve processes
With OBCE’s first license renewal period using Thentia Cloud now concluded, the team is looking forward to exploring the product’s reporting functionality. For next year, they hope to make the renewal period even easier by utilizing Thentia Cloud’s convenient notification features to remind licensees when renewal deadlines approach.
Since launching on Thentia Cloud in April 2021:
- Agency has gone from 60% to 85% paperless with the adoption of Thentia Cloud
- 100% of applications now processed digitally, compared to 0 before Thentia Cloud
- 100% of renewals now processed digitally, compared to 60% before Thentia Cloud
- $1,000 in direct mailing costs eliminated
- Late renewals reduced from up to 20% before Thentia Cloud to 5% after deployment
- Renewal license fee payments by check reduced from 20-30% a year before Thentia Cloud to 2% after deployment
- Approximately 35 hours of staff time previously spent on manual applications and renewals saved per week
Last updated: Sept. 2021