Episode 628: Need-to-Know OSHA + HIPAA in 15 Minutes

hipaa osha Jan 12, 2023

DAT consultants Tiff and Tina touch on the importance of OSHA standards and HIPAA compliance in your office, including the following:

  • Understanding the difference

  • Resources and training tips

  • Selecting a compliance officer

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0:00:05.9 Kiera Dent: Hey everyone, welcome to the Dental A Team podcast. I'm your host Kiera Dent, and I have this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective, because let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling consultants where we have traveled over 165 different offices coaching teams. Yep, we don't just understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress, and create A Team. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast. Hello Dental A Team listeners, this is Kiera, and you guys, you are so lucky. Today you are going to get to hear from Tiffany and Tina. They are coming in with some dynamite info for you, and as always, thanks for listening. I'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team podcast.

0:01:05.6 Tiffany: Hello Dental A Team listeners, this is Tiffany, and you are here on Dental A Team Consultant Takeover, where the traveling Dental A Team consultants take over the mic and share tips and tricks from hundreds of offices nationwide. Today we have myself, Spiffy Tiffy, and Tina is here with us, and I absolutely love podcasting with Tina, because I think that we share a mind sometimes, and she's so good at picking up what I'm saying, and really taking the ball and jiving with me. So Tina, thanks for just rocking it out on talking with me. I feel like this is like a conversation. We actually do this over Zoom, you guys, so like we can see each other, and it's like we're talking to each other, but we're talking to you, so it's kind of weird, but kind of awesome at the same time.

0:01:46.7 Tina: Makes it so fun. [chuckle]

0:01:50.2 Tiffany: It's not just like some weird air, right? We're not talking to the clouds, we're just talking to each other.

0:01:54.6 Tina: Exactly.

0:01:55.3 Tiffany: Two friends just chit chatting all day. It's great. [chuckle] I thought let's talk everyone's favorite thing. This is like, I hope we always make everything fun, because that's our number one core value, and today's topic is really, really boring, you guys, and I hope we can make it fun in some way. I hope that you walk away understanding that as boring as these two topics that we're talking about today are, they're so, so necessary in your practice. We're going to talk a little bit about OSHA standards and being HIPAA compliant. I know, dun, dun, dun, like boring. They're so boring. I was the one in the office, I was the dental assistant that was like, you want me to be the OSHA compliance officer? I think that's probably a hard pass. Like I'm just not, I couldn't do it. Tina, I think you probably could do really well, because I think that you're like a checklister and you'd make sure that we were actually like following OSHA standards. And I'd be like, yeah, I think that's six inches from the ceiling. I think that's fine. You'd be up there with a ruler. Am I right?

0:03:01.0 Tina: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

0:03:04.8 Tiffany: Yeah. Yeah. So number one, check your compliance officers wisely, okay? Don't just ask your favorite assistant, if she's not the one who is a checklister. I was a great dental assistant and my doctor loved me because I have like a short attention span in a lot of cases. And so I could bounce around constantly and I'd be like, eh, you've got this feeling like I'm going to go see this patient next door, and he loved that. And he loved that I could just be all over. I could read his mind. I could do the things, I learned to read his mind because I'm like efficiency, you guys know this about me. Efficiency is life. And if I had to waste time trying to figure out what he wanted or he couldn't say it or he had to ask me for it, I was like, absolutely not, we don't have time for that. So I'm the one running around like a chicken and I love it. And I get this total high off of it. Is that the OSHA compliance officer? Probably not. Put me in front, put me with a notebook of things that I have to read through, check. And then I have got to go through the whole practice and check to make sure things are right. No, I'm on the whole time. All I can think about is all of the things that I could be doing with my time. So choose wisely.

0:04:16.5 Tiffany: If your favorite assistant is your favorite assistant, because she's really great at multitasking and running around like a freaking chicken, she might not be your best OSHA compliance. And if that's you dental assistants out there, like you don't have to do everything. There's someone out there. If you don't like it, it's not your forte. There's someone out there that will love doing it. There is a Tina in your life that would be like, by all means, let me do this. 'Cause I think you would enjoy it, Tina.

0:04:39.9 Tina: Yeah, definitely. [chuckle]

0:04:44.1 Tiffany: And, You know what? We are very, very similar. Tina and I have a lot of similarities, so when it comes to that, she and Britt, like they're going to be the ones in our company that are like, Tiff, you missed this. And I'm like, yeah, I probably did. It's okay. It's okay. Tell me and I'll fix it. So I think OSHA standards and HIPAA compliant, those are two very different things. I mean, I'm not sure in the dental world that we all actually understand that because I think OSHA and HIPAA, like OSHA hardly ever comes around, right? HIPAA, we're like, that's just a form we sign and they've got to be the same thing. It just means like we're clean and they're just so different. OSHA standards, right? Is going to be the health of your practice and your patients, making sure that your patients coming in are not in danger of getting sick, right? That you're clean, your practice is clean, but then also OSHA goes as far as like fire safety hazards. So I think the one thing that I remember, because when we did finally find the right OSHA compliance person, we realized like we were very limited on space as most practices are. And so we just had boxes on boxes on boxes. A lot of them were old lab cases, which guys, just throw them away, okay?

0:05:54.9 Tiffany: But we had so many lab cases like stacked on top of our cupboards to the ceiling. And so one of the OSHA requirements that I will never forget is that you can't have everything to the ceiling because it's a fire hazard, right? So I was like, you have got to be kidding me because we had to go through the entire practice and find space for all of these stupid boxes. So that's your OSHA standards, right? It's like all of those compliance pieces to make sure that your physical property, your business is safe from a health standpoint and then also from safety standpoint. I think that's also where your fire safety protocols come in. Like all of those things are OSHA standards, your gloves, your knot. This is huge guys, please take this home. Not wearing gloves, clean or dirty at the front desk. That is OSHA. Hey, it drives me crazy. And I'll be up there and an assistant will be like, well, they're clean and like, but the patient doesn't know that. Okay, just take them off. Do not put them on and come up to the freaking front desk. Making sure that we're wearing our guards, right? That we've got our masks on. All of those pieces are OSHA standards. Is there anything else you can think of Tina, that I miss like OSHA standards?

0:07:07.8 KD: Hello Dental A Team listeners, this is Kiera and you guys, how was your 2022? I want you to look back and tell me, was it the year of years or was it a really hard year? Did you crush it or did it crush you? This is the time, guys, for end of year Dental A Team Platinum is welcoming you where we will physically fly to your practice. We will come and we will elevate your dreams and make them into a reality. And guys, space is limited and prices are going up. This is not a sales pitch. This is not something where I'm trying to scare you into it. I'm just facing the reality of inflation is here, flights are expensive and I want to see as many people as we possibly can and serve as many as we can. So if you want to be part of our elite group of people, there are limited spaces because our consultants can only see as many. We are taking on 10 new platinum offices by the end of the year and that's it. That's all we have space for. So if you want to be one of the elite 10, come join us, be a part of our top notch elite doctor community, be a part of our office manager and hygiene and front office communities. Get your operations manual done and live the life that you've only been dreaming of today. Email me hello at thedentalateam.com and make 2023 truly a year that's unforgettable.

0:08:28.1 KD: We are a complete tax write off and like I said, we are only taking 10 offices, so don't get left behind, be one of those 10, and I cannot wait to give you the biggest warmest welcome to completely and utterly changing your life for good. Welcome to the Dental A Team, I can't wait for you to join us. Hello at thedentalateam.com, cheers to 2023 and making you your best self yet.

0:08:55.6 Tina: I just think that there are definitely like great resources to help either if you're ready to do your annual training or if you're looking for, so that you definitely don't have to come up with this information, so it's all there and there's a few different sites that I like to refer people to. I know that we have some resources as well as far as Dental A Team goes, but just making sure that you're doing your annual training for your OSHA, and that I definitely like kind of look for things throughout the day of what are things that are happening with team members that are not OSHA compliant, which generally taking gloves up to the front desk is going to be the thing that you see, especially as you're like onboarding new employees. They just tend to kind of forget, so it's not that they don't know that, they're just kind of frazzled and so just making sure that you're watching for those things and then just staying on top of your annual training.

0:09:47.9 Tiffany: I love that. Yeah, I think you're right. We definitely do need experts. That's what I wanted earlier. We definitely do not try to be experts in this and so we will always for both of these things OSHA and HIPAA, we're going to refer you out for most of that. I get asked a lot, Do you do OSHA training? Absolutely not. Not just because I'm not a good compliance officer, but because we're not accredited to do those kind of trainings, but we are here to say, annual training, I think that was huge that you pulled out. I think a lot of practices don't understand that you're supposed to do annual training. Actually, at least for OSHA, there's a lot of training that we don't do in the dental world ever for HIPAA training and we're supposed to as a business. So there's business HIPAA and then there's the patient compliance HIPAA and you can do both trainings at the same time and actually you're supposed to do those. So I think the training is huge. So spinning off that, we've got OSHAs are our health and safety measures for people and for practice, but then our HIPAA is literally privacy practices.

0:10:45.8 Tiffany: It's in the name in HIPAA and that is the release of information, the sharing of information, who you can talk to for certain information. I know a huge one for us in the dental world is that we forget that we can't share patient information with family members, right? So a husband calls in for a wife and wants to talk about the billing and we're like, well, the wife, she has to be on the phone, right? Or the son is 19 and the mom, this is going to happen to me. I'm, well, Brody is pretty self-sufficient, I don't know that he would even let me call on his behalf. He pushes back pretty well, but like having that 19-year-old has a question about the treatment or it goes home. I don't know how many times a 19-year-old, 20, 21-year-old will go home and then I'll get a call from the mom that's like, he thinks he has treatment. I'm like, what do you mean he thinks he has treatment? I guess he has treatment. We gave him a whole treatment plan. He signed it because he's over 18, but I can't talk to you about it because your child is now over 18 and has to handle himself.

0:11:44.6 Tiffany: So we forget about those things and we offer up that information. That's the HIPAA compliancy part. So again, training on that, I think we just took our training and I think new team members are actually supposed to go through HIPAA training. I had never until Dental A Team, like we've never taken HIPAA training. We just had the HIPAA forms that they signed and we knew they had to update them every year. And that was it. And there was just so much information. Like I think it's common, I think a lot of it is common knowledge and we're not dumb around it, we get it, but knowing that we were supposed to be taking that and that new team members hired on are supposed to take it within their first, I think, actually 30 or 60 days was like eye-opening to me. So I think understanding one that OSHA and HIPAA are two very different things. And then remembering to do your training OSHA's annual training, HIPAA, I'm going to like stick myself in the foot with that one. I'm not sure, I think it's also annual training. I'm not sure, but it's supposed to be at least upon hiring.

0:12:43.7 Tiffany: So figure that out, get yourself the training, business owners, for sure you have to have that training. So go get that HIPAA training, make sure you're dedicating the time to that and that you're setting it aside. I think you're also supposed to do OSHA training throughout the year during your team meetings. So get a compliance officer. These are your action items, figure out the training, get your annual training scheduled, dedicate a compliance officer for each. I would do two different people because it's a lot to keep up with on either side. So an OSHA compliance officer, HIPAA compliance officer. I'd probably, if it were me, I'd probably do hygienist or dental assistant for OSHA. And I probably do front office team member, maybe not the office manager, 'cause she or he's got a lot on their plates for HIPAA compliance officer, but figure out your training, dedicate a compliance officer for each and then just remember to document everything. So all of the training that you do, certificates that you guys get, anything that comes along that goes against OSHA or HIPAA, or you have to have documents signed so that you can share information, all of those things, make sure you're documenting everything so that you've just got it.

0:13:48.7 Tiffany: And remember things can be scanned into charts and that's plenty as long as you've got backup of your software, like make sure it's all there. Annual training, compliance officers, document everything. Tina, is there anything you can think of that I may have forgotten in that?

0:14:04.7 Tina: The only thing I will add, definitely documenting, so making sure that you're on top of that. Anyone, any office, I've actually been in two offices, large group practices where we've had OSHA come in and reviewed our documentation, which I was like, how have I been in two offices that have experienced this? We had all the documentation and that's what's important. So I do like documenting things. And with HIPAA, now that there are so many different like software and kind of like add on things that we use in our daily lives, sometimes I see doctors trying to incorporate that into their offices and there's additional protocols that they have to do to make sure they're staying HIPAA compliant. So maybe you're adding things to like your Google drive, but you haven't added in the key pieces to make it so it's HIPAA compliant, just making sure that you're looking at that when you're incorporating different like software and app systems and so forth in your practice.

0:14:51.6 Tiffany: That's brilliant. That's a really good point. I think that a lot of us do use like Google drive, right? And we have it, and there are so many practices out there that don't have email addresses connected to their website and they're just a Gmail and those are like pretty dang public and they get hacked all the time. And so I know you have to have like a little thing at the bottom, a little snippet down at the bottom of your email to make sure you're HIPAA compliant. And so, that was brilliant. So making sure things are locked when they're supposed to be locked that people can't get to them. Yeah. Yeah. That will get you in a lot of trouble. [laughter] That's a good point. Good point. And good job being documented and having everything you needed. I think we had OSHA come in once in the like 14 years I was there and that was scary. I was like, I think we are, but I have no idea. We had Delta come in once too, and I was like, I feel like we're going to be shut down. Like no matter what, it just feels like the president just walked in and was like, no, you cannot operate anymore. I was like, no, [0:15:50.6] ____.

0:15:52.3 Tina: OSHA came into our office. We had seven doctors and two associates. So we were just large and like, Oh my gosh, I hope that everyone here has paid attention. [laughter]

0:16:03.0 Tiffany: Right. Right. There's a lot of people to hope.

0:16:06.0 Tina: A lot of people to make sure that you are compliant because they are here right now.

0:16:10.4 Tiffany: Yeah. Yeah. Today's the day. [laughter] Get that box down if it's up there right now. [laughter]

0:16:16.0 Tina: Exactly. [chuckle]

0:16:18.0 Tiffany: Awesome. Awesome. Well, I think that was pretty fun. I think we had some good information. I hope you guys felt the same, because again, I told you, we like to make things fun, but those were pretty dry topics, necessary for everyone. Get your training, schedule it now, if it's not scheduled, and then get your compliance officers in place and start documenting everything, okay? Sweet. Alrighty guys, that wraps up the Dental A Team Podcast Consultant Takeover. Let us know what you think. We love hearing from our listeners. Truly, truly, truly, we love it. Drop us a five-star review or email us over at hello at thedentalateam.com so we can hear from you. Thanks so much for listening and we'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team Podcast.


0:17:01.2 Tiffany: And that wraps it up for another episode of the Dental A Team Podcast. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you next time.




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