Before you open your dental practice (or purchase a dental practice), you must have detailed office procedures in place.

Office procedures should address administrative tasks such as:

  • Opening and closing the office
  • Booking appointments
  • Billing patients
  • Handling emergencies
  • Answering the phones
Every practice owner also needs clinic procedures that outline specific 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

Practice owners also want to use office and clinical procedures as part of the training process for new staff members.

The following are some guidelines to ensure that employees clearly understand the office and clinical procedure guidelines:

  • Keep sentences short and simple
  • Avoid using legalese and overly complex dental 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