Discharge of an Employee

August 19th, 2015

Q:  Our office has recently had to let an employee go that had been here for a long period of time.  What would you recommend to us to ensure we have handled this properly?
A:  Not having any information of the circumstances, here are a few general recommendations for you to consider:
1.  Make sure the employee records are updated.  Details of reprimands, meetings with provider/manager, requests for improvement, etc.  Basically, everything that has to do with the employee, what was addressed with them and when/how, as well as what was the outcome of those discussions.  Employee privacy must be maintained but if this issue extends to other employees that may have been impacted, you may wish to collect a written statement from them as well.  Employee records should always be detailed and clear.
2.  Office keys should have been returned if they were obtained by that employee.  If not, the office locks should be changed right away.  Additionally, even if the keys were returned, if there is any potential possibility that the employee left with anger or harmful intent, the practice locks should be changed.
3.  Alarm systems, passwords to software and other devices should all be changed.  This includes e-mails, EHR, computer login, voice mail, Wifi, etc.
4.  Any business associate, vendor or organization that your previous employee may have been a contact person for should all be contacted and updated with current contact information.  This includes but is not limited to:  payroll companies, billing service, clearinghouse, advertising companies, practice accountant or attorney, etc.  Many providers have also listed an employee as a primary contact person with Medicare Enrollment.  If this is the case, this too would need to be updated.
5.  Anything that's hidden (such as petty cash drawer keys, file cabinet keys, etc) should find a new hiding place.
6.  If the employee had a business e-mail, that email should be redirected to another employee and of course, the password changed.
7.  If the issue potentially has a legal impact or their is possibility of or fear of safety of other employees, an attorney and/or law enforcement should be contacted.  
Employee privacy must be maintained.  This means that if other employees are aware of the situation, a meeting must be held to address the matter of privacy.  The issue is not allowed to be discussed outside of the practice, among employees within the office and certainly not with patients.  This important message must be made clear to all employees in the practice. 

Discharge of an Employee. (2015, August 19). Find-A-Code Articles. Retrieved from https://www.findacode.com/articles/discharge-of-an-employee-26629.html

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