How Current is Your Office Policy Manual?
Outdated is almost as bad as not having one!
Posted in Practice Matters on Thursday, March 12, 2020
When did you last review your office policy manual?
When we perform Personal Risk Assessments (PRAs) for our policyholders, we look to see if there are established policies on how to handle a variety of circumstances such as: no shows/missed appointments, social media, terminating care, etc. It is not unusual to find an office does not have a manual, or has an outdated manual that is not utilized. Both are risky.
The office policy and procedure manual are recommended to the efficient operation of every practice. An office policy manual:
- Serves as a training, orientation and compliance guide for new employees as well as experienced staff members.
- Defines operational expectations.
- Serves as a risk management tool that lowers liability exposure in the office while illustrating the desire for continuous improvement.
Procedures themselves may not demonstrate compliance; however, well defined and documented processes do and can be of help in a claim situation.
Don't Create and Forget
It is important the office policy manual be reviewed annually by staff members and updated as necessary. When you update your policies, indicate the date the policy was updated on the lower right-hand corner of the policy document and keep a copy of the original policy as part of your business records.
For your manual to be effective, it must be kept current and should be shared with your entire staff. Above all, policies and procedures contained in your manual must be implemented and enforced.