Practice Procedures Manual

Before hiring staff and opening your practice, it will be helpful to have an office procedures manual in place. This document outlines various tasks to help ensure your practice is running smoothly and that all employees follow the same procedures.

A detailed office procedures manual can be a reference for everyone in your practice  and eliminate many questions staff members might have involving daily tasks.

Information to Include

The office policy and procedures manual addresses administrative tasks such as:

  • Opening and closing the office
  • Booking appointments
  • Billing patients
  • Handling emergencies
  • Answering the phone (scripts, etc.)

You’ll also need a clinic policies and procedures manual that outlines steps related to patient care such as:

  • Taking a patient history
  • What to do if a patient exhibits signs of a stroke
  • Discussing and obtaining informed consent

Your Office Procedures Manual contains detailed information on every task that is done in the practice. It differs from the Employee Handbook which conveys basic information about employment at your practice.

You'll also want to use your office procedures manual as part of the training for new staff members. Following training, you may want to have employees sign forms acknowledging they have reviewed the manual and agree to keep this information confidential.

These forms with the employee's signature can then be added to their personnel file for future reference.

How to Create Your Practice's Manual

The best way to start is by making a page header for each task. Then start to fill in the details. The book can be divided into sections as it develops. Following are some guidelines to ensure that employees clearly understand the office procedures manual:

  • Keep sentences short and simple.
  • Avoid using legalese and overly complex chiropractic language.
  • Date every page of the manual and any revisions that are made.
  • Use a tone that makes the employee feel they are part of the team.

What to Include

Following are some possible topics to include:

  • Introduction
  • Telephone Technique
    – Telephone scripts and answers to insurance questions
  • Patient appointments and scheduling
  • Collection of daily charges and payments
  • Insurance and third-party billing questions and answers
  • Therapy (adjunctive procedures)
    – including a new employee therapy training checklist
  • Office opening and closing
  • Anatomy/coding/abbreviations
  • Patient charts
  • Appointment book
  • Patient care
  • Office forms (e.g., day sheets)
  • Equipment
  • Miscellaneous office information
  • C.P.T. coding and billing
  • ICD coding
  • Imaging procedures
  • Computer entry-patient data
    – ESC and month end closing
    – WP/files and technical data
  • Supplies and equipment vendors
  • Situations
  • Doctor's information section – curriculum vitae, insurance numbers, professional liability, managed care data, etc.
  • Recent updates
  • Important phone numbers

Some of these topics will come from policies and procedures you have already developed. One of the most important, an office payment policy, describes how payments are handled in the office.

You'll want to list payments by category such as:

  • Cash
  • Credit/debit card
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Personal injury
  • Medicare/Medicaid, etc.

This could also be developed as a general flyer/brochure and included on your website for patients to review. More in-depth policy statements can also be prepared and distributed to a patient based on the source of reimbursement.

Practice Forms

There are a variety of practice and patient forms you may need to include in your office procedures manual along with an explanation of how the form is to be used and handled upon completion.

Possible forms include:

  • Record Release Form
  • Confidential Health Records Fax Cover Letter
  • Insurance Information
  • Insurance Assignment, Information Release, and Payment Agreement
  • Notice to Insurance Patients
  • Insurance Patient Financial Liability Acknowledgement Form
  • Injury and Insurance Information
  • Medicare Explanation From
  • Health Insurance Claim Form-HCFA-1500
  • Authorization to Release Records to the Doctor
  • Case History
  • New Problem/Re-evaluation Form
  • Consent to Treat
  • Patient Registration From
  • Progress Report
  • Charge Record Form
  • Daily Summary Sheet
  • Fax Cover Letter
  • Confidential Health Records Fax Cover Letter
  • Patient Treatment Verification
  • Patient Survey
  • Diagnosis/ICD Codes
  • Office Fee Schedule
  • Pregnancy Warning and Consent to X-ray
  • Lab Request Slip
  • X-Ray Request
  • MRI History Sheet Imaging Request
  • Natural Method of Health Care
  • Patient Information Checklist
  • Diagnosis Diagrams
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