Does Your Office Manager Feel Supported? A Case Study in Support of Documentation

February 24, 2023

Hi! I’m Angie James, Trident ENDO’s Director of Human Resources and Compliance. 

When you think of the demands facing endodontists, you probably overlook the stressors facing your office manager. It makes sense! The most successful endodontists deal with a diverse roster of patients and are committed to keeping up with cutting-edge technologies in order to deliver exceptional client care. That’s a lot to manage on its own.

However, behind-the-scenes, most endodontists deal with a significant number of HR issues, which, without the proper support, can quickly become overwhelming for their office managers.

By way of illustration, allow me to share with you the following case study…

The Tale of a Tricky New Hire

Sarah has been a dental assistant with RCT Endodontics for approximately two years and is known to be a dependable employee with ten years of experience. 

The doctors adore Sarah because she is always available when offices are short-staffed or when employees are on vacation, and she’s excellent at taking x-rays. Awesome!

Recently, a new hire, a dental assistant named Wanda, complained to the office manager — we’ll call her Anne — that Sarah is very mean and yells and curses at her regularly. 

What exactly is Anne supposed to do? 

How can she respond to and resolve this situation professionally?

Fortunately, her employer had already provided Anne with training on the 5 Ws of Documentation, so she’s totally had this.

What are the 5 Ws of Documentation?

In short, they are the saving grace for your office managers and anyone involved with human resource support in your office. 

The 5 Ws stand for:

1. Who

The office manager should know WHO was involved and WHO has first-hand knowledge of the event or incident (Are there known or potential witnesses)?

2. What

The office manager should discover WHAT (Ask the employee to describe the incident or recurring issue and the specific behavior or actions leading to the complaint). 

3. Where

The office manager should know WHERE (Describe the location of the incident; was it at the workplace or a workplace-sponsored event)?

4. When

The office manager should know WHEN (Did the incident occur during regular work hours or on off-duty time)?

5. Why

The office manager should understand the WHY (Do not guess or speculate! Instead, investigate, and gather information, including knowledge and/or facts or information to support your findings/conclusions, and allow employees to present their version of the event). 

Since your office manager is probably also your human resource specialist (no matter what their business card says), you need to ensure that he or she is empowered with HR best practices and the strategies proven to resolve employee complaints.

For a busy endodontic practice, this probably sounds like a tall order! 

Good news! 

It doesn’t have to… 

We invite you to contact Trident today to see how an affiliation with us will benefit your practice, especially when it comes to strategic support for your office manager and HR challenges.