There’s no doubt that employee turnover – as many of you may be experiencing lately – is disruptive and challenging to a practice. But if your practice is to preserve its reputation and continue to provide first-class dental services to your patients, you must put in time and effort to on-board and train new hires so that your office meets requirements and your new hires fully appreciate – from Day 1 – that your office has a culture of compliance and professionalism.
As author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “[t]he only thing worse than training new employees and losing them is to not train them and keep them.” So, with the optimistic mindset that your new hires will stay with your practice and thrive, you should include the following in your onboarding:
- Licenses and Continuing Education (“CE”) (no later than Day 1) – Confirm that the employee has all requisite licenses and CE to perform the tasks for which he or she was hired. Also, confirm that the employee understands his or her ongoing CE requirements.
- Employee Tasks and Responsibilities (no later than Day 1) – Confirm that the employee understands the specific tasks and responsibilities for which he or she was hired.
- Standard Operating Procedures (within the first few days of hire) – Review the procedures for:
- Setting up an operatory (including what’s required both before and after a patient enters the space);
- Breaking down an operatory after a patient leaves; and
- Sterilizing instruments and equipment.
- OSHA Training (within 10 days of hire) – Topics to cover include:
- Bloodborne pathogens (i.e., their dangers, preventive practices, and postexposure procedures);
- Hazard communication (i.e., hazardous chemicals in the work area, the use of labels and safety data sheets, and the location and details of the written hazard communication program);
- Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE,” including when it is needed; how to select, maintain and use it; the useful life of PPE and its proper disposal; as well as the location and use of medical and utility gloves and lab coats) and first aid (i.e., the location and use of the AED, oxygen tank, emergency and/or first aid kits, and eyewash station);
- Exit routes;
- Emergency action and fire prevention plans (including the employee’s specific role in case of a medical or other emergency); and
- Electrical hazards.
- HIPAA Training (within 14 days of hire) – Topics to cover include:
- HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules;
- Patients’ rights under these rules;
- What is Protected Health Information (“PHI”) and when a practice can use or disclose it;
- The practice’s policies on how to safeguard PHI and electronic PHI (“ePHI”);
- The identities and roles of the practice’s Privacy Officer and Security Officer; and
- Compliance and Enforcement.
Finally, be sure to document when and for whom you’ve provided these trainings. As a former colleague of mine once said, regulators and auditors will always subject you to the “show me” test.