From OSHA to Patient Safety and everything in between, why dental offices fail regulatory inspections is mainly due to the lack of employee training. Here is a common scenario – employees comes to work and do their jobs, however if they are not engaged in active learning outside of work, which will help them stay current in their career, they become trapped in the daily routine mindset. This means they become more outdated as the profession changes. It won’t be long with this scenario, for a dental office to fall well below the minimum compliance requirements, resulting in the workplace becoming unsafe for both employees and patients.
Employers must keep this in mind – 82% of the tasks needed to run their business successfully is the responsibility of the employees. In other words, employees have a greater impact, good or bad, on the day-to-day operation and over all successes of the business, more than the employer.
So it is critical that employers know if their employees are competent to do their jobs and are keeping up with changes in their responsibilities. Here are a few suggestions there will improve the compliance standard for your office,
Revise Policies & Procedures
Every year take a look at your office policies and procedures, especially the sections that deal with employee safety, patient safety and patient service. Revise based on new changes and then introduce the changes to your team in a training session. The value of policies & procedures is when employees knows them, adhere to them and management enforces them. I know, nobody wants to be a bad boss, but without application and enforcement, policies & procedure are worthless.
Review Regulatory Requirements
Posting a copy of regulations on a wall does not make employees or the business compliant, it takes the obtainment and the application of knowledge. This means employees must know the requirements and do what is required as the minimum. Employees should read and review regulatory requirements yearly or when new changes are made, whichever occurs first.
New Employee Orientation
Don’t assume new hires will do exactly what you expect them to do. Take the first ten days of their employment and assign an experience employee to them as a mentor and observer. Putting the time in the beginning will payoff in the end.
Instill Product Knowledge
Make it mandatory that employees read the labels on products before using them. This should be a no-brainer, instead this is one of the most common violations found during inspections. Reading labels before using the product reduces risks and injuries while improving results.
Instill PPE Knowledge
Employees should know everything about their Personal Protective Equipment, especially the fitting and limitations. Most manufactures provide information and instructions on the proper use of the PPE, this ensures maximum safety for the employee.
Foster a Team Mindset
If they are an employee, they are a member of the team. Therefore all team members must attend meetings and training sessions. It is impossible to move the business to higher standards without the full support of the team.
Foster Active Communications
Communications is the glue that holds standards and results together. The more you and your employees communicate, the stronger the team will be. Commit to morning huddles and weekly power meetings, encourage critical focus on employee safety, patient safety and patient service.
Look at employee training as an investment with endless returns. Well trained employees have a huge effect on all facets of the business, including generating revenue, increasing profitability and reducing risk.