An effective staff policy manual protects you, your staff and your practice by outlining expectations, rights and responsibilities. All policies should be non-discriminatory and apply to everyone equally.
Numerous resources are available to assist you in creating a staff policy manual. At the very least, a staff policy manual should include:
- anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies
- policies covering
- electronic communications, including social media
- safeguarding patients’ protected health information (PHI) according to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulations
- compliance with Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and office safety regulations
- employment at will
- staff benefits, especially those regarding paid time off
The Checklist: What to Include in Your Employee Policy Manual, courtesy of The ADA Practical Guide to Creating and Updating an Employee Policy Manual, details topics dentists may want to address via staff policies. The Guide also includes information on how to write policies and covers additional topics such as recruiting, training, managing and terminating staff as well as employee benefits and workplace safety and security.
Another helpful resource available through the American Dental Association (ADA) is A Dentist’s Guide to the Law: 246 Things Every Dentist Should Know, Fourth Edition. This publication provides general guidance on employment law, office manuals and policies, and hiring, managing and terminating staff.