Report 2015-507 Recommendation 9 Responses

Report 2015-507: Follow-Up—California Department of Public Health: Laboratory Field Services Is Unable to Oversee Clinical Laboratories Effectively, but a Feasible Alternative Exists (Release Date: September 2015)

Recommendation #9 To: Public Health, Department of

To ensure it can provide effective oversight of labs as state law requires, Laboratory Services should ensure that its information technology data systems have necessary safeguards, contain accurate and complete data, and support its program needs.

Agency Response*

LFS, in partnership with ITSD, began formal development of an electronic licensing system in June, 2017, and continues development using an agile project management model. Agile project management is an iterative approach to planning and guiding project processes. CDPH is utilizing the Department's existing licensing platform, Pega system, to build this application.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2018
  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

Laboratory Field Services (LFS) is working with the Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) to develop an electronic licensing system for clinical laboratory facilities that would provide better record keeping and tracking of facility licensure, registration, ownership, complaint tracking, enforcement tracking and management reports; accelerate the applications processing time, which will help ensure that all labs testing California specimens are inspected in a timely manner and are in compliance with federal and state laws; centralize the application process for both new and renewal license and registration applications; streamline workload for LFS staff; and establish better accountability for management within Public Health.

The application will be developed on the department's existing PEGA System. The PEGA System licensing platform will replace the existing legacy mainframe and will be a foundation on which all new and existing licensing applications are built. The new online personnel licensing application (PERL) was built on the PEGA platform, and it is anticipated that LFS will be able to leverage lessons learned from that application build for the facilities licensing application design.

The department is developing a scope of work to bring a contractor on-board to begin configuring the licensing system for LFS. The LFS electronic licensing system now has an approved Stage 1 Business Analysis (S1BA). Department of Technology, Technology Letter 16-08, as of September 12, 2016 delegated approval of S1BA documents to Agency Chief Information Officers (ACIO). As of July 8, 2016 the S1BA was approved by the California Health and Human Services' ACIO. LFS continues to work with the Department's ITSD on the Stage 2 Alternative Analysis (S2AA), which is estimated to be completed by December 31, 2016.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2018
  • Response Date: September 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

In September 2015, CDPH launched the Laboratory Field Services Branch (LFS)' new online personnel licensing system (PERL). This is the baseline system that in subsequent phases will be expanded to include complaints tracking, and moving facilities licensing online. LFS continues to work with the Department's Information Technology Systems Division on the Stage One Business Analysis (S1BA), which will be completed by March, 2016.

This initiative will support the restructure of LFS by replacing the substantially paper-based processes with information technology solutions that will enable online applications, and allow recording and tracking of facility licensure, registration, ownership, complaint tracking, enforcement tracking, required inspection scheduling, proficiency testing tracking, and management reports. This redesign will enable LFS to be compliant with state law, as well as comply with the CSA recommendations, while also improving the quality and timeliness of services provided to facilities. Once complete, the redesign will enable LFS to provide more accurate and timely information about clinical and public health laboratory performance. This information will assist health care consumers and provide transparency and accountability of licensed and registered facilities. Further, the redesign will enable LFS to achieve greater staff efficiencies by eliminating a substantively paper-based, and time-consuming, tracking activities that currently take place.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 07/31/2018
  • Response Date: March 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

In September 2015, CDPH launched LFS' new online personnel licensing system (PERL). This is the baseline system that in subsequent phases will be expanded to include or tracking complaints, and moving facilities licensing online. CDPH continues to actively recruit state staff to support the current and future PEGA Enterprise applications for development, maintenance and operations. In the short term ITSD has engaged the services of a contractor to provide support for the PEGA Enterprise platform and maintenance and operations of the existing applications. ITSD plans to hire a contractor to assist in the development of the requirements and functional design required to develop the facilities licensing and complaint phase.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: September 30, 2017
  • Response Date: November 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending

The California Department of Public Health (Public Health)'s response discusses various plans for taking corrective action. We will re-evaluate the status of this recommendation once Public Health substantiates the steps it has actually taken.


All Recommendations in 2015-507

†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year or subsequent to one year.

*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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