7.18.14 Issue #645 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Belle DuCharme, CDPMA
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Practice Compliance: Job Duty of the Office Manager
By Belle DuCharme, CDPMA

Great people skills and excellent business office skills are the must-haves of an efficient dental office manager. One area often overlooked as a responsibility of the office manager is that of the clinical area compliance of the practice, or OSHA. If there is a clinical assistant or the doctor has taken over the duties of compliance in this area, it is still up to the office manager to organize and oversee the standard operating protocols and ensure that all are trained in compliance. 

The following is a suggested Practice Compliance Checklist:

1. Gather, copy and file in each personnel file a copy of appropriate licenses and certificates applicable for employment and job duties. Check at each anniversary for updates of these documents.
2. Verify that all OSHA and Employment Department posters are on display in the appropriate areas of the practice (usually where all employees gather such as a break room).
3. Infection control manual, hazard communication manual, hazardous materials log and the MSDS sheets should be available for review in a standard location.
4. Records of hepatitis B vaccines and other appropriate vaccines administered in a secure location.
5. If required by state law, copies of x-ray certificates of dental assistants posted on the walls.
6. Appropriate aseptic technique followed by all office personnel.
7. System of disposal of biohazard materials and sharps.
8. Location and operation of eye wash stations for all staff.
9. System of appropriate hand-washing procedures.
10. Appropriate procedure to take down and set up operatory prior to seating a patient.
11. Procedures and standards for sterilization of instruments and proper disposal of one-use items/blood borne pathogen exposure.
12. Systems for safety checks and inspections of fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, radiation and nitrous oxide monitors.
13. System to prevent cross contamination in the clinical and business areas of the practice.
14. System of ordering and dispensing proper PPE to all staff in correct sizes and materials.
15. Establish a Clinical Procedural Manual for keeping records of the above list.
16. Maintaining the HIPAA manual and making sure that all staff members have been trained to be HIPAA compliant and practice approved methods of patient information transmission.
17. Obtain and maintain “Business Associate Contracts” in accordance with HIPAA Security rules.
18. System of reporting office work-related injuries and physician contact and protocol.
19. Establish an Emergency Action Plan for your office including posted exit routes and map, a designated location for all to meet during and/or after a fire, earthquake or other natural disaster.

Too many times I hear how the office is “so busy” that the annual OSHA and HIPAA trainings are overlooked and easily forgotten. The American Dental Association offers compliance manuals for both OSHA and HIPAA and updates as necessary. These updates are to be included in the annual training session. There are companies that can come in and provide training depending on where you are located and are usually local companies such as OSHA for Dentistry in San Diego, CA. If your HIPAA training took place before 2013 then you are out of date, as many changes have happened that are vital to the security of patient records in the practice. There have also been major changes in OSHA regulation since 2013 such as Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD), digital radiography and laser safety. 

As an Office Manager, ongoing training for all staff should be on the calendar with priority attendance required. These trainings are usually about four hours long and are relevant to all staff, whether business or clinical. 

OSHA inspections are on the rise, as are the fines associated with compliance breaches. This is not the main concern however - the safety of dental employees and patients is the key driver for ensuring compliance with HIPAA and OSHA.

Want to learn how to organize and prioritize the many and complex duties of an Office Manager? Call McKenzie Management today and sign up for a professional business training two-day course customized to the needs of your practice. Course curriculums can be viewed HERE.

If you would like more information on McKenzie Management’sTraining Programs  to improve the performance of your team, email training@mckenziemgmt.com

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