Congratulations Employee of the Quarter!
Tralongo recognizes and congratulates this year’s first and second quarter employees: Evelyn Molina, Account Lead and Jim Gochis, Director of Procurement.
OSHA and the Dental Workplace
By Greter Perez
The best way to avoid inspections and possible fines is to establish, promote, and enforce a culture of safety in the dental workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can conduct workplace inspections at any given time for different reasons, such as serious injuries or fatalities. In many cases, inspections are the result of employee complaints. Although OSHA selects environments for inspection based on high potential risk for injury or illness, less hazardous workplaces, such as dental offices, can be inspected at any time. Therefore, all employees should understand the importance of following safety rules and regulations.
Dental professionals should be aware of the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard and the Hazard Communication Standard. These standards aim to protect employees who are at risk of contact with blood, bodily fluids or certain harmful chemicals. Dental offices are required to have written safety plans, which include an exposure control plan, training, and protective attire for employees. The following three tips will help dental offices meet OSHA compliance standards:
- Conduct Your Own Job Hazard Risk Assessment – Use an OSHA checklist to discover potential violations that may require your attention and correction. This is a good exercise for the entire team to assist with, in order to emphasize the importance of training and compliance.
- Schedule OSHA Training for Team Members – New employees should complete training immediately upon being hired. If it has been more than a year since your last training, the entire team should complete the training together. Document the training by recording the date, topics covered, name and job title of each employee. This training record log must be kept for at least three years.
- Focus on Bloodborne Pathogens and the Hazard Communication Standards – Maintain a written Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Plan, with all of the required basics. Update it annually. Make sure you have an updated written Hazard Communication Program with all the required components. You should be prepared to explain your sterilization process to patients and the methods used to confirm that equipment sterilization was completed effectively.
For more information on these and other OSHA standards related to dentistry, please visit the OSHA website at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/dentistry/standards.html
Keeping Performance Reviews Professional
By Cathiana St. Preux and Renee Honeycutt
The performance review is a time when dentists or their office managers evaluate the work of each employee. Reviews, ultimately, are intended to keep your business running at its best because employees are performing their best.
While performance reviews often touch on how employees can improve, reviews should also be positive. Employees should also be told what they are doing well. If performance reviews are only critical of an employee, it can be detrimental to the employee’s morale. This can backfire as the employee might then feel giving 100 percent on the job is not worthwhile and business suffers.
Documenting the review is important. It not only stands as proof that the review was conducted, but it should also outline what was discussed and lay out goals for the employee to strive for. The review document is something dentists or office managers can refer to when performance issues arise. For example, if an employee doesn’t meet his or her goals by the next performance review, the document stands as proof that they acknowledged what those goals were. Both the employee and dentist or office manager should sign off on the review document.
Personal feelings about the employee should always be left out of reviews. The dentist or office manager should focus solely on the performance of employees.
In the first year of employment, an employee should receive three performance reviews. The first performance review should be conducted 30 days after an employee is hired. This is an opportunity for the office manager to make sure training is going well and the employee is getting acclimated to the environment and workflow. The next review should be 90 days after the hiring date. The employee will have been there three months and should have a good sense of how the office operates and should be getting used to it. This is a good time to compliment the employee on what they’re doing well, along with guiding them toward better practices. The annual review should be conducted a year after the employee was hired. The discussion should include how they improved from their 30 and 90 day reviews, what they need to work on and how and goals for the next year.
Practice Scorecard Helps Trainers Develop Customized Training Program
By Julie Hannan
During initial training, a Tralongo Training Team Launcher will assess the day-to-day business practices of the Strategic Alliance Partner’s dental practice and fill out a practice scorecard.
The pass/fail scorecard identifies which areas could use improvement and helps the trainer develop a customized training program for the office. If an area gets a “pass” score, Tralongo will encourage the dental office’s team to keep up the good work. If an area receives a “fail” score, Tralongo will train the staff on ways to improve in that area. The practice scorecard is designed to be used as a tool to determine areas of concern and opportunities for growth.
There are 11 areas on the scorecard the Tralongo trainer looks at:
- Facility/Compliance Check
- Audit 5 Random Charts
- Front Office Check
- Access to Care
- EOD Process
- Treatment Plan Tracker
- Invoice Process
- AR: Statements
- AR: Outstanding Claims
- Claims Process
- Social Media/Website Management
The scorecard reflects all phases of the patient experience, from the initial phone call to the final billing statement.
What Doctors Should Keep in Mind About Social Media Marketing
By Scott Mortier
Every business in any industry can benefit from the use of social media as a way to connect with consumers and potential patients. While it might seem like a strange fit, dental practices can certainly utilize social media to identify a patient base and communicate messages. However, it takes the right strategy and execution to get the best social media results. Your dental practice’s social media accounts should be both professional and creative.
Include any awards your practice has received and give your patients a place to write reviews. You want people to know that your practice can show them the dental hygienic results they want. However, it’s important make sure your account is equally as fun and engaging. Show how your practice acts as a community by posting photos from holiday parties, get-togethers and other light-hearted events.