Enhancing Customer Service at DBHDD

Summer heat is upon us, but our desire to serve Georgia’s safety net needs remains strong. As we approach a new season, I wanted to share information about several initiatives underway to enhance customer service at DBHDD.  Our customers are why we do this work, and our primary customer is you: staff, providers, partners, elected officials, the public, and most importantly, the individuals and families we serve.  We have tried to improve our active listening across all groups to address your interests and concerns. Many of you have provided important input! Attending to your recommendations has resulted in three important areas of re-engineering: Redesign of the DBHDD website; reduction of administrative burdens on providers; and enhancements to our approach to provider relations.

We want you to have a positive experience when interacting with our service delivery system.  Our vision of easy access to high-quality care starts with easy access to the information you need – whether that is how to get help in a crisis, locate a service provider, learn about a program, or apply for a job.

In April, we launched a redesigned website.  The URL is the same, but the look is new, modernized, and better organized to streamline the customer online experience.  We know that people come to our website to find out about our services, how to access them, and who to contact if they have questions. 

From your feedback, we learned that our site was not easy to navigate and did not provide clear information about some of our most requested services.  We started by reviewing content to ensure that the information posted is current.  We then reorganized information to place access to services as a priority.  Finally, we rebuilt the website’s architecture and updated design and color scheme to be consistent with our brand refresh, which we launched at the end of 2017. We believe it is more user-friendly and we welcome your continued input.

Equally vital is our partnership with our network of community providers that serve as the frontline of our community workforce.   We have heard loud and clear that providers would like to reduce paperwork and other administrative burdens. Together with our sister agency the Department of Community Health, we have actively engaged in a comprehensive review of each element of provider network management, licensure, accreditation and monitoring.

The most rewarding element of this work is that Georgia stakeholders have a shared commitment to transparency, quality and accountability, as we move forward.

Beyond the administrative interface, DBHDD would like to strengthen the partnership with our provider network. Our Office of Provider Relations led a series of information-gathering sessions across the state.  The goal of this effort was to learn more about provider needs and expectations in order to provide support with a customer-centric focus. 

Through two types of sessions—a virtual ThinkTank session and in-person insight sessions—we asked providers across the state to share what they need to be more effective in providing care to the people we serve.  We received numerous meaningful insights, which can be categorized into improved training and networking opportunities, coordination, enrollment, coordination between agencies, accessing information, and policy updates.  We highly value their reflections as experts in the field and will use their feedback to guide improved relations. 

The new website, reductions in administrative burdens and the provider information sessions are just three of the ways that DBHDD strives to live our vision.  Of course the ultimate measure of our success is in the advancement of recovery and independence for people with mental illness, substance use disorders, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. We embrace a steadfast commitment to continuous improvement, and your ongoing input is necessary and welcome. 

Judy Fitzgerald, Commissioner