8 Policies Every Private Practice Should Have for their Staff and Business
Admin and compliance are among the two most feared words for most practice owners. Even just the thought of getting your policies down on paper and distributed to your staff and your clients is enough to make you want to turn around and get back into bed.
It’s completely understandable when you think about it. Running a practice is hard work, and writing policies doesn’t feel like it adds much value when there are so many other urgent tasks to get through.
There are hundreds of different forms to manage and various compliance requirements to compound the confusion which is why we’ve gone ahead and done the research to come up with the policies every private practice should have.
Today, we will be covering the 8 policies every practice should have to protect their staff and business.
1. Employee Conduct
This is a broad area and can be split into several policies. In general, it should include guidelines on alcohol and drug use, smoking, discipline and performance management. This gives employees a clear framework to do their jobs as they know what behaviour is acceptable at work. It should function as a road map for how to work within the company and give an introduction to your culture.
2. Position Descriptions
Where possible, this should be done on a role basis rather than an employee basis so that there is a greater degree of impartiality. The description should include the level of authority the position has to make decisions, the level of responsibility it has, the tasks required and the overarching goals. It should also clarify how performance will be monitored and managed, and employee skills development training associated with specific roles.
3. Personnel Policies
This policy should clearly state the hours of work, employment terms (including hiring and termination), salary (and bonuses), health benefits, insurance, the number of leave days, sick leave and retirement. The document should take your practice’s culture into consideration as some staff may work flexi-time, and you may have a work-from-home policy.
4. Health and Safety
You will need a top-down approach for this, taking into account industry best practices and any relevant legislation.
Your employees’ health and safety are your top priority. The policy needs to cover how to deal with illness or injury at work, safety guidelines, and how to report a concern. You may also choose to draft a separate COVID policy.
5. Social media Policy
You’ve probably noticed the increasing trend of clients reaching out to you online, and social media has become an important marketing tool for health practitioners. With this trend set to stay, it is crucial that you have a documented policy for managing interactions on your social media channels. An internet and social media policy will protect your practice against reputational damage as well as keeping your client interactions professional. A written policy that covers the guidelines and provides the necessary training will also benefit your employees.
6. Company Property and Internet Use Policy
Stipulate how employees can use the internet at work. This may include limitations on personal internet use and the requirement that all online activity is legal, ethical and appropriate. The documentation should also include what is considered appropriate for posting on social media as it relates to your practice.
Your team need to use company property to do their jobs, whether it’s therapy equipment, electronics, medical tools or a desk and chair. The guidelines should communicate how to care for the property and if personal use is permitted.
7. Harassment and Discrimination Policy
Harassment and discrimination can have a big impact on the culture of your practice. Keep your employees safe and promote a fair environment with a policy that explicitly prohibits:
- sexual harassment;
- verbal harassment;
- physical harassment;
- hiring discrimination;
- workplace discrimination;
The policy should also cover how to report any incidents of harassment or discrimination and how these will be dealt with.
8. Disciplinary Action Policy
This policy outlines what constitutes a violation of company policy, the disciplinary process that will be followed and the consequences for different violations.
Depending on the size of your practice, many of the policies can be combined. For example, the Employee Code of Conduct could cover most of the policies that relate to your staff in one place. However, the most important ones need to be done separately.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but a right step forward to protect your business.
Author: Power Diary