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GPS Managing Professional Risks


Identifying the risks that exist in a dental practice is the first step to effectively managing them. Once you know what the risks are, you can develop plans, systems and protocols to reduce the likelihood that one of those possible risks will become a reality that has the potential to significantly damage your ability to practice, your professional reputation and your financial stability.

This ADA Guidelines for Practice Success™ (GPS™) module on Managing Professional Risks discusses some of the preventive steps you can take to protect yourself and your practice.


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  • Patient Prescriptions

    State and federal regulations determine who is a patient for a medical/dental facility and those regulations determine whether or not you can legitimately prescribe medications of any type for an individual.

  • Transitions and Other Changes

    Taking the time to analyze your practice’s vulnerability before making any transition can lessen the likelihood that you’ll face any unexpected surprises when you’re ready to make that change.

  • What to Do When Closing a Practice

    Closing a dental practice, involves informing patients and authorities of the closure, dismissing staff, disposing of dental equipment, among other things.

  • What to Do When Selling a Practice

    There are a lot of factors to consider once you’ve decided to sell your dental practice, regardless of the reason behind that decision.

  • What to Do with Patient Records When Selling a Practice

    Dentists preparing to sell a practice have several options regarding how to handle the transfer of patient records.

  • What to Do When Changing or Closing a Location

    Your responsibility and ethical duty to provide appropriate care to your patients continues even when you decide to change or close a practice location.

  • What to Do When Changing the Practice’s Legal Structure

    Assess your risk potential before making changes to the structure of the practice to reduce the likelihood of any unwelcome – or costly – surprises further down the road.

  • What to Do During Employee Transitions/Terminations

    Changes in staffing can be a stressful and time-consuming process for everyone on the team.

  • What to Do When Adding New Services

    While adding new services may show that you’re responsive to the treatments your patients want, it’s important that you do the necessary due diligence.

  • Peer Review Options and Considerations

    Peer review is a dispute resolution process that benefits both the patient and the provider.

  • Dental Board Complaints

    State dental boards are entrusted to promote excellent service in dentistry and to protect the public through licensure, education and enforcement of standards with fairness and integrity.

  • Managing Cyber Liability Risks

    The possibility of a data breach in the dental practice is real.

  • Practice Website Liability

    Dental patients research potential providers online before deciding whom to call for that first appointment. Your website needs to be easy to navigate and read, ethical, and fully compliant with certain provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) which relate to information on your website, especially when it comes to forms or sharing information.

  • Allegations of Discrimination/Hostile Work Environment/Sexual Harassment

    Dentists who own or manage practices are encouraged to foster a practice culture and environment in which everyone feels welcome and comfortable.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act

    Dental practices are required to give reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities and must make a reasonable attempt to respond to the request.

  • Violations of Civil Rights

    The U.S. government operates two different agencies named the “Office for Civil Rights:” one is a sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Education and the other is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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