Almost all practice owners have heard that written policy … including a policy manual, written protocols and procedures, as well as job descriptions … are necessary for their practice to run smoothly. But unfortunately, they often have very little written policy, if any, in place. Or if they do, it is often out of date. Why is that?
- First, YOU must really “buy in” to the fact that guidelines make things run more smoothly and easily, and that you need to make it a priority to get done.
- You must figure out how to get it written and by whom? Staff can be a big help on most of this. Someone must be in charge of the project and run it.
- There is often no deadline for getting this done and so it drags on forever and never does get completed. As a result, many practices have partially done job descriptions and policy manuals.
There are probably a myriad of other reasons, but those are a few of the main ones. And all of those issues can be addressed without too much effort, if the person in charge of getting the policy written really does see the benefit.
So, why does a practice NEED written policy?
Some may think of written policy as a formality. However, here is a list of benefits that make it worthwhile doing as a project:
- With written policy and procedures, etc., everyone does their duties basically the same way. There is uniformity and agreement on methods of getting things done within the practice. As a group, they are consistent and reliable.
- Because the procedures and protocols are standardized, and written down so everyone can learn them, no one has to spend time reinventing the wheel. Imagine how much lost production time there would be if different people constantly had to figure out how to do the same things over and over!
- Training someone new on the job with written material that they can read on their own is a lot less time consuming than having to have an experienced employee personally tell them how to do everything.
- Until someone is very experienced at their job and can remember everything, they have a written reference they can refer to when they have any questions.
- If a staff member falls suddenly ill or leaves or goes off on mat leave, there are exact instructions for the new hire or temp person to survive with.
- Every process, protocol, system, procedure, and every duty of every position is written in such a way that anyone reading it can understand it and do it.
- Nothing is based on opinion. It is in writing and that is how it is agreed upon to be done in your practice.
Make Your Practice Run Smoother
Written policy is a very stabilizing for a practice and allows maximum production with minimum friction. There will be less wasted time and effort and things can get done faster and more consistently.