Effective HR planning

Provided by DANB and the DALE Foundation

Dental office managers have a demanding job, overseeing many different aspects of a dental practice to keep it running smoothly. Personnel issues can be one of the most time-consuming areas, particularly for large practices with several locations. However, one way to more efficiently manage multiple practices is to implement uniform hiring and training standards.

The Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) and the DALE Foundation have several resources to streamline your practice’s operations. This simple guide can help you get started with standardizing your office’s protocol.

Plan for future human resources needs
Effective human resources initiatives are vital to your dental practice’s success. By following HR best practices in your office, you can increase employee satisfaction, reduce turnover, improve your recruitment efforts, and ensure compliance with state and federal employment laws.

Important areas that HR and office managers should be knowledgeable about include: developing job descriptions, implementing protocol for the interviewing and hiring process, evaluating job performance, ensuring employee compliance with federal and state requirements for their positions, and maintaining employee records.

If you’re looking for HR resources for your practice, the DALE Foundation offers interactive, online courses that can help you analyze and plan for current and future HR needs. The DALE Foundation’s HR Fundamentals for the Dental Office covers all of the topics listed above and more. In addition, the course includes examples and templates you can use in your practice.

Understand state requirements for dental professionals
When operating multiple practices, particularly in different states, it’s important to be familiar with each state’s dental practice act. DANB has a free tool that links to each state’s dental practice act, so you can easily find state statutes, regulations and administrative rules governing the practice of each member of the dental team.

Dental assisting requirements, in particular, can vary widely from state to state. To learn more, visit DANB’s free search-by-state map, which includes dental assisting job titles, requirements, and allowable and prohibited duties.

Make sure to check these resources along with the state dental board websites regularly, as rules and regulations frequently change.

Standardize hiring practices
Hiring decisions can often be subjective, and many HR and office managers say that personality fit can be as important as – or sometimes more important than – experience and skill, particularly for dental assistants. However, applying some type of standardization to the process can help eliminate ambiguity and gray area in the decision making, as well as minimize any legal risk.

Employing DANB Certified Dental Assistants (CDA) can benefit your practice in numerous ways, including reduced staff turnover, increased patient trust and greater office efficiency. DANB is recognized by the American Dental Association as the national certification board for dental assistants. Currently, 38 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Air Force recognize or require DANB exams. Since each state has different dental assisting requirements, encouraging or requiring all dental assistants to earn national certification can help you streamline your office’s protocol and create a baseline for hiring decisions. To assist with preparing for DANB certification, the DALE Foundation offers online, interactive review courses and practice tests for many DANB exams.

By streamlining your approach to managing staff, you can improve operations and create greater efficiencies. To learn more, visit www.danb.org and www.dalefoundation.org.

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