Skip to content

June 2018

Dealing with Office Dress Code Dilemmas

If scrubs are your office standard attire, then creating a dress code should be easy, right? Not necessarily.

As you’ve probably experienced, dress code issues often have nothing to do with the clothes. More commonly, issues rise from an employee’s choice of hair accessories, footwear, excessive makeup, or sometimes just personal hygiene.

If your office is experiencing similar issues, the best way to address the situation with staff is to have a policy in place supporting the expectations staff should meet. Policies are important to an office and are meant to outline the expectations for employers. Once a clear policy is in place, a conversation can be scheduled with the staff to review the dress code expectations outlined in the policy.

Download a sample dress code policy that you can use in your manual.

Because employees are the face of the dental practice, the ultimate the goal is for patients to see the office staff as professional and capable.

If there is ever a question about what to say to an employee, how to start this conversation, or if you need help creating a policy, contact Brandy Ryan, MDA director of human resources, who can walk you through the process.

New Controlled Substance Regulations Now in Effect

As of June 1, 2018, two new regulations are in effect for the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances in Michigan, with a third regulation becoming effective on July 1. Make sure your office is complying.

Patient Education

If your office prescribes a controlled substance containing an opioid you are now required to share with the patient information about the medication being prescribed. In addition, the patient is now required to sign a Start Talking Consent Form verifying information about the prescribed medication was discussed.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has developed the Start Talking Consent Form, which is available for download from the MDA website. Additional materials to educate patients are available at Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network website.

MAPS Registration and Reports

The second regulation requires all prescribers of controlled substances to register with the state of Michigan’s Michigan Automated Prescription System. MAPS is the monitoring system used by the state to track controlled substances prescriptions for patients. This tool is used by prescribers — including dentists and pharmacies — to assess a patient’s risk and to safeguard against patients who may be drug shopping. Click here to register with MAPS. Dentists who created a MAPS account prior to June 1 may need to reset their password.

Additionally, a dentist must run a MAPS report on the patient when prescribing a controlled substance exceeding three days.

NOTE: The dentist should be the only person signing into his/her MAPS account. If the dentist would like to approve other staff to run reports on his/her behalf, additional accounts can be created as delegate-licensed or delegate-unlicensed.

Prescriptions for Acute Pain

Beginning July 1, a prescriber treating a patient for acute pain may not prescribe more than a seven-day supply of an opioid within a seven-day period. “Acute pain” means pain that is the normal, physiological response to a noxious chemical or a thermal or mechanical stimulus and is typically associated with invasive procedures, trauma, and disease, and usually lasts for a limited amount of time.

Complying with the Regulations

To begin complying with the new regulations, complete the following steps:

Educate the Patient: Discuss with the patient information about the controlled substance containing an opioid that is being prescribed.

Start Talking Form: Download the Start Talking Consent Form. Have the form available for all patients to sign who are prescribed a controlled substance containing an opioid exceeding three days.

Register for MAPS: Registration is required for any health care provider who is prescribing Schedule 2 to 5 controlled substances.

MAPS Reporting: Report on any patient the dentist is prescribing a Schedule 2 to 5 controlled substance exceeding three days.

Acute Pain: Do not prescribe more than a seven-day supply of an opioid within a seven-day period when treating a patient with acute pain.

MDA Resources: Visit the Controlled Substances section of the MDA website for more resources.

Dentists Need to Complete their ADA Find a Dentist Profile

Help new patients find you by having the doctor(s) in your practice update their ADA profile to ensure that he/she is correctly listed on the ADA and MDA Find a Dentist tools.

The Michigan Dental Association’s Find A Dentist search page receives more than 4,000 visitors per month. Profiles with photos receive 11 times more clicks compared to the profiles without photos. Trust is an important factor when someone is looking for a new dentist. What better way for patients to trust your practice with their smile then by having your doctors showing theirs!


Great CE Courses for Front Office Personnel Coming in August

Two great continuing education courses are coming up fast, the first covering human trafficking identification and the second on building a productive and highly effective front office team. Both courses count toward the MDA’s Certified Dental Business Professional curriculum.

Saturday, Aug. 11
MDA Summer Scientific Session, Mt. Pleasant

Human Trafficking Awareness and Identification for Dental Professionals

A survey of U.S.-based survivors of human trafficking shows that while being trafficked, 26.5 percent of victims were seen by dentists. More than half of women and adolescents reported tooth pain and or tooth loss; however, the provider did not recognize these attributing factors or red flags as indicators to human trafficking crimes. This course will help dental professionals further develop their education and knowledge to identify trafficked individuals they may be seeing day-to-day, and to create a standard reporting process to reduce the number of victims who currently fall through the cracks.

The cost to attend just the seminar is $109 for staff and MDA member dentists. The cost to attend the entire Summer Scientific Session is $225 for staff and $350 for MDA member dentists.


Friday, Aug. 24, 2018
MDA Headquarters, Okemos

Build a Front Office Team that Rocks!

Human resources and organizational leadership expert Laura Hatch presents this high energy, interactive course focusing on real-world, easy-to-implement training for every team member, from the receptionist to the office manager. As founder of Front Office Rocks online front office training and a dental office manager herself, Hatch teaches the communication skills and procedures that create the ultimate customer experience for your patients.

The cost to attend is $139 for staff and $269 for MDA member dentists.