How HR Can Help Dental Practices Avoid Possible Lawsuits

Posted by on Jan 11, 2023 9:00:00 AM

Human resources (HR) can play a valuable role in ensuring a dental practice is compliant with workers’ rights laws and protected from lawsuits that may arise from employee-related issues. 

Below, we’ll discuss how HR can help your dental practice through objective employee treatment, conflict resolution, and documentation of important employee milestones. 


How Can HR Help My Dental Practice? 

Fair, Equal, and Objective Treatment

One of the key ways that an HR professional can serve a dental practice is to take the time to ensure that office interactions are carried out with thorough consideration. For example, they can implement written policies, effectively follow up on conflicts, and speak with each of your team members to ensure they’re all experiencing a positive work environment. These precautions may reduce or even eliminate lawsuits regarding discrimination, wrongful termination, or similar issues. 

The fair, equal, and objective treatment provided by an HR specialist can help avoid perceptions of favoritism or subjective treatment, particularly at smaller practices where employees are closely connected. 

Documenting and Resolving Conflict

If conflict arises in your office, HR is responsible for documenting the conflict to learn what happened, how the conflict started, how it was resolved, and, most importantly, how it can be avoided in the future. Conflict can develop in your practice between a number of different people, including two or more employees, an employee and a patient, or an employee and a practice owner. 

In a situation that results in a lawsuit, HR can act as a representative in court and even serve as an expert witness for your practice, when needed. When your HR team has an official, documented record of exactly what happened and how it was handled, they can have an easier time making their case. In addition, they can provide advice, guidance, and a neutral, third-party perspective to ensure effective conflict resolution. 

Documenting Team Member Growth

HR can document the growth of individual team members. This includes setting and tracking goals for each team member, examining their progress within the role, and learning how they can grow and achieve their career aspirations. 

When each of your team members has their performance review, your HR representative can take time to thoroughly review their work, speak with them about their current performance and goals, and more. 

Similar to establishing fair and equal treatment, by documenting team member growth and performance, an HR specialist may help prevent lawsuits regarding discrimination, or similar issues occur on the basis of favoritism.

Providing Support To Improve Your Practice Overall 

A dedicated HR representative can help improve your practice’s environment overall. Your employees might be more likely to provide helpful feedback or more accurate complaints to HR than they would be to deliver it directly to you. An HR professional can craft appropriate and prompt responses to those complaints, which can be an effective way to ensure your employees enjoy their workspace.

Your HR team can also consider possible future issues and solve problems before they even arise, contributing to a proactive and positive workplace which can curb employee-related lawsuits.


Managing Your Dental Practice 

While managing the team at your dental practice may not have been something you learned in dental school, it’s a crucial part of running your business. 

A designated HR representative can help your practice run smoothly by supporting your employees and helping them succeed in their roles, as well as ensuring you are well-equipped to mitigate and confront employee-related lawsuits if they occur. You can also have assistance in the hiring process as your HR representative can help your practice effectively staffing your practice, creating a patient-centric culture, and more. 

Download our free Ebook today to learn more about creating an efficient team at your dental practice! 

About Treloar & Heisel 

Treloar & Heisel offers dental and medical professionals a comprehensive suite of financial products and services ranging from business and personal insurance to wealth management. We are proud to assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement. Our experienced teams deliver custom-tailored advice through an active local presence, while our strong national network ensures that clients experience the same high level of service throughout the country.

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