The Washington State Department of Health is pursuing a new Health Care Enforcement and Licensing Management System (HELMS) that will transform licensing and enforcement processes, and our interactions with participants and stakeholders in those licensing and enforcement activities. HELMS will also improve data security, support electronic records management, and improve access to information. HELMS will replace ILRS, an outdated and aging system.
HELMS will support the licensing and regulatory needs of:
- Almost 500,000 healthcare professionals practicing in 86 professions across 359 credential types
- 2,500 educational and training programs across four educational and training program types
- Nearly 12,000 facilities across 21 facility types
HELMS will deliver a solution that supports external customer participation in the department's healthcare licensure and regulatory activities and the processes and workflows executed by state staff and board/commission/committee members. The licensure and regulatory activities within the scope of HELMS support the department's goals for patient safety and access to care. The activities to be supported are listed below.
- Healthcare professional and facility credentialing and renewal
- Healthcare professional and facility credential regulation (investigation, inspection, enforcement, adjudication)
- Healthcare facility and community health system programs (adverse events reporting, certificate of need, charity care policies, construction review services, emergency cardiac and stroke categorization, health professions shortage area designation, trauma care fund, trauma service designation)
Modernizing our current system will provide a number of benefits that will improve use, access, and control costs by shifting more interactions to online functions. As examples, HELMS will:
- Expand the provider credential search to include more information for healthcare consumers about providers, such as specializations and practice locations.
- Enable patients and others who have filed complaints against practitioners and facilities to check complaint status online.
- Streamline license renewals for employers of multiple providers by allowing bulk license renewals.
- Replace postal mail notifications with electronic notification to health care providers of license expirations, application status changes, continuing education deadlines, and disciplinary actions.
- De-identify sensitive and confidential data to enable broader data access for research and public disclosure.
- Allow providers to delegate to others to manage licensing transactions with the department.
- Enhance data around health care providers and practice locations, helping to identify health care needs and trends in communities.
- More efficient records sharing for regulatory boards, commissions, and committees, such as non-routine applications and disciplinary case files.
RFI N22787 HELMS
The department issued a Request for Information (RFI) in May 2017 to gather more information in support of the HELMS effort. The below information about the RFI is provided for further background information on the requirements for HELMS:
- Attachment WA Dept Health RFI N22787 (PDF)
- Attachment, RFI N22787 Exhibit A, HELMS Business Requirements Part 1 of 2 (PDF)
- Attachment, RFI N22787 Exhibit A, HELMS Business Requirements Part 2 of 2 (PDF)
- Attachment, RFI N22787 Exhibit B, HELMS Security Requirements (PDF)
- Attachment, RFI N22787 Exhibit C, HELMS Technical Requirements (PDF)
- Attachment, RFI N22787 Exhibit D, HELMS Current-state Database Information (PDF)
- RFI N22787 HELMS Amend 1 – Q&A (PDF)
- RFI N22787 Amend 2 (PDF)
- HELMS Vendor Conference (PDF)
- RFI N22787 HELMS Amend 3 – Q&A (PDF)
- RFI N22787 HELMS Amend 4 – Q&A (PDF)
- Feasibility Study RFI N22787 Amend (PDF)
If you have any questions about the HELMS project, please email us.