The Employee Manual in Family Practice

The creation and implementation of an effective employee manual serves several functions in the family practice. Standard procedures and clearly defined job descriptions, duties and expectations are addressed once instead of multiple times.

Employee Manual Legally Mandated Content

State and Federal employment law affects the contents of family practice employee manuals. For instance, large practices with many employees must include Family and Medical Leave Act information. Medium sized family practices are required to include COBRA information. The State Department of Labor has all of the necessary information required to make sure employee manuals are in compliance.

Authoring the Family Practice Employee Manual

There are several ways to produce the family practice employee manual. One is to outsource the project to professionals. Another is to produce the manual in-house. Some office managers are experienced in creating employee manuals. There are software programs available as well as templates.

Some Chamber of Commerce organizations have employee manual templates available for member’s use. The contents of the manual may include brief job descriptions and any mandated legal information or be all-inclusive documents detailing not only job descriptions but how-to perform those actions as well. Consider requesting staff input regarding the manual.

Employee Manual as Family Practice Review

Request that staff members detail their own job descriptions and information. Reviewing the result will immediately point out any areas where expectation on the part of management isn’t made clear. If the required activities blur between departments, details may need to be included in both business and medical staff sections.

Once the family practice employee manual draft has been reviewed, any problem issues that have been revealed will need to be discussed and dealt with. It may be necessary to not only re-write the manual but also to reconsider the division of labor among staff members. Pay scale information should be included for each area of labor. Review of this information may reveal inconsistencies that need to be corrected.

Legal Issues and Family Practice Employee Manuals

No matter who authors the family practice employee manual, it is wise to have a legal professional review the final draft. All practices, payment detail and other information should be reviewed in accordance with local, state and federal law requirements. Provided information should be clearly stated in a way that any employee can easily understand policies and prerequisites.

Family Practice Employee Manual Final

Once the family practice employee manual has been reviewed for errors in typing, duty descriptions, details, pay scale and legal information, the manuals should be printed and assembled. Assembly options include putting printed pages inside three ring binders (easy to make changes and update) or going so far as to have the manuals printed and bound in paperback or hardcover form. The latter makes re-printing necessary should involved updates be required at any time.

Once the completed family practice employee manual is ready for use, all staff members should receive a copy. It is suggested that each be required to sign a form indicating not only the fact that a copy has been received but also the fact that the manual has been read and is understood by the staff member.

A well-written family practice employee manual can be a vital tool in the smooth running of the practice. Taking time up front to make sure the manual contains all of the necessary descriptive and legal information saves time, money and explanations later.