After finishing dental school and working for another dental practice for several years, you might be ready to branch out on your own. Starting a new dental clinic can be challenging; however, you can make it successful if you take the right steps. As you prepare for this, you will need to find ways to protect yourself, your practice, and your assets, and here are three ways you can do this.
Set Up a Secure Computer System
Security breaches can happen with any type of computer system and with any type of business, but with proper measures and steps you can prevent this from happening. To do this, you should invest in hiring a company to set up your system for you. When you do this, you can also hire them to perform routine maintenance on your system and take care of upgrades and changes.
If there is a breach in your computer system, confidential information can land in the wrong hands, and this could lead to a lawsuit against your dental practice.
Comply with All Requirements
The second thing to worry about with a dental practice involves the way you and your employees handle procedures with patients. You must set up strict policies and procedures for the following things, and you must enforce each of these:
- Patient forms – There must be policies that involve the way patient information is collected and used. This should also include HIPAA forms and policies, consent forms for treatment, and payment agreements.
- Equipment – The way equipment is used, handled, and cleaned is also vital for a dental practice. These policies will ensure that germs are not transferred from one patient to another, and they will help keep your dental office germ-free.
- Waivers – You may also want to request that patients sign waivers before certain procedures. An example of this is if you are pulling a tooth that is located next to a tooth with a crown. The waiver might release you of liability if you happen to damage the crown when pulling the tooth.
You may also want to set up rules relating to employee relations in the office and the ways employees treat patients. These policies should be clear and accurate, and you can include all of them in an employee handbook.
Purchase Dental Malpractice Insurance
Depending on where your practice is, having dental malpractice insurance may or may not be mandatory, but you should purchase it in either case. Dental malpractice insurance covers all types of lawsuits brought against your business and protects you if you lose a case. This includes claims for:
- Complications caused from anesthesia
- Problems that occur after dental procedures are performed
- Illnesses contracted by patients at the office
- Failure to diagnose certain conditions, or failure to refer patients to appropriate specialists
- Lack of informing patients of costs, or failure to get signed waivers or consent forms
If anything goes wrong during a dental visit, the patient may decide to sue your office. Without dental malpractice insurance, you could end up losing everything you own. Depending on what type of business structure you use for the practice, you may even lose your personal assets. This is why you may want to set up your business as a corporation or a limited liability company.
As you select a policy, make sure you get enough dental malpractice insurance coverage and find out exactly what it covers and excludes.
Protecting your practice is vital and you can begin this process by finding out more information about dental malpractice insurance. To learn more or to get a quote, contact an insurance company that offers this type of coverage.