Starting a dental practice involves a number of considerations, not the least of which is attracting and retaining patients. More than this, though, a successful practice depends on having a capable staff of dental hygienists,
In short, an employee handbook clarifies the responsibilities of a dental staff and what benefits they can expect from the owner. While the details of the handbook depend on the size of the practice, it should open with a description of the practice and a mission statement that clarifies the objectives of the practice: putting patient care first. From there, the employee handbook should cover the following key topics.
The practice’s hours of operation, attendance, hours required each day, rest and lunch breaks, and other information should be set forth in the handbook. It is also important to clarify whether staff members eligible for paid time off such as holidays, sick days and vacation time.
Because the personal appearance of the staff is important, it is also necessary to establish a dress code, although many practices today provide staff members with uniforms. Nonetheless, your policy should address matters such as cleanliness, jewelry,
A handbook should also establish policies regarding tardiness, absenteeism, and misuse use of company equipment, the
Staff members must also be aware of practice’s obligations with respect to HIPAA, their responsibilities in this regard, and consequences for violations. It is also important to provide all new hires with training on HIPAA compliance, as well as to periodically train all staff members to ensure compliance.
All staff members should be given periodic evaluations of their performance to ensure they are fulfilling the duties of their job and achieving goals that have been established. Although evaluations for dental hygienists and
In the end, operating a dental practice is much like running any other business, and employees must have an understanding of their rights and responsibilities. By having a formal employee handbook in place, you will support the professional development of staff members as well as the success of your practice. At the same time, a handbook should also be updated periodically to keep pace with technological advances that shape your practice as well as changes to any applicable laws. For this reason, it is essential to work with an attorney who regularly provides legal services for dental professionals.