The Importance of a Well-Written Dental Office Handbook
The dental office handbook is one of the most important investments you can make in your practice.
This handbook is a living document that’s necessary to communicate your mission statement, core values, policies, and expectations to your employees. It’s unique to your business.
It also serves as your legal protection against unwanted litigation, such as wrongful termination and claims of discrimination or harassment.
If it’s not well written and compliant with current and accurate information, this handbook can actually be used against you in a court of law.
Don’t copy it from another practice!
Why your office should have an employee handbook
The importance of your handbook is to establish the expectations of:
- Employees and their rights,
- Performance management
- Information regarding Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), COBRA, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) anti-discrimination laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Additionally, it gives an overview of topics such as:
- Payroll and compensation
- Wage garnishments
- Code of conduct
- Employee benefits
- Leave information
The implementation and follow-through of the handbook are also equally important.
A crucial aspect of handbook execution is that you must enforce all of the policies set forth therein.
You don’t want to set a precedence for not following your own policies and procedures, as it will invalidate the very ones you have outlined in your manual.
In order to establish a well-written handbook, I would recommend that you use a human resources (HR) company such as CEDR Solutions… This text opens a new tab to the CEDR website…, which utilizes employment legal counsel to oversee legal policies in their handbooks.
They’ll make sure that your handbook is in compliance with federal, state, and municipal laws, and it’ll be geared toward the nature of your business.
Their HR specialists have their finger on the pulse of employment laws and can keep your handbook up to date with the most current legal requirements.
Have employees sign the handbook
Lastly, it’s also vital that your employees read and sign a written acknowledgment for your records.
This will give you a document signed by your employee to keep in their personnel file that establishes that they were informed and acknowledge the policies as they are written.
Without a well-written handbook, you’re putting your practice in a vulnerable position.
Just like any other legal situation, if it’s not documented, it didn’t happen.
Does your dental office have a handbook?
This manual is mutually beneficial for the employer and employee, as it outlines your employee’s rights and outlines the expectations and obligations set forth by management for the team as a whole.
It’ll also create a fair and equitable execution of all rules and expectations for all employees all of the time.
This manual will benefit your practice by preventing misinterpretation of your policies and protect you in an unfortunate litigious situation.
Meet the Author
Tammy has spent more than 10 years as a private practice office manager. She currently manages the practice of Jensen and Brown, DDS… This text opens a new tab to the practice’s website… in Bellevue, WA.
Tammy is a member of the Northwest WA Chapter of AADOM… This text opens a new tab to the chapter’s website… and in September of 2021, she was inducted into AADOM’s first class of Diplomates.
Before transitioning into the dental field, she worked for several years as a medical transcriptionist. She is passionate about learning and advancing her career.