Dentistry is a team business. In a dental practice, staff members are extremely important in every aspect, which includes their ability, whether directly or indirectly, to manage risk.
Dental assistants make clinical procedures safer for patients and increase a dentist's productivity. Dental hygienists provide clinical care in their own right, while educating patients. Members of the front office are the public face of the practice, since they are usually the first people patients will speak to by phone or meet in person when they enter the practice. A patients' first impression can have a profound affect on the practice. No matter what a staff members role is, staff members influence a patients' opinion of the practice, as well as their overall sense of satisfaction.
So, just why is this so important? Statistically, patient satisfaction is a significant factor in dental professional liability claims. Nearly 80% of dental malpractice claims do not result in a payment to the claimant. Although exceptions exist, it is safe to conclude that the majority of dental malpractice claims are not the result of the negligent conduct of a dentist. Rather, claims are pursued because of patient dissatisfaction from non-clinical issues. With enormous patient contact, staff members of a dental office have a profound ability to improve patient satisfaction, and reduce the likelihood of a dental malpractice claim.
OBERMAN LAW FIRM
Stuart J. Oberman, Esq handles a wide range of legal issues for the dental profession including cyber security breaches, employment law, practice sales, OSHA, and HIPAA compliance, real estate transactions, lease agreements, noncompete agreements, dental board complaints, and professional corporations.
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