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Timekeeping Systems for Dental Practices—Why They Fall Flat

Lauren Walchek
Posted by Lauren Walchek on April 28, 2022

Timekeeping may not always seem like the most essential consideration for your dental practice. However, timekeeping may take up a significant portion of your practice management time and budget. You need to ensure you’re streamlining it as much as possible, and you also need to ensure you’re compliant with HR laws by conducting an HR audit.  Your timekeeping system should also provide transparency and build trust with your team members. 

 

What Is a Practice Management Software/System?

A practice management software system (PMS) is software that tracks your dental patients’ information, including their charts, schedules, and other medical details. Many of these systems include timekeeping functionality (at no extra charge). It’s a convenient feature, since employees are logging into the system anyway to manage patient data.

Some of the most common practice management software/system (PMS) for dentists include:

Timekeeping Systems for Dental Practices—Why They Fall Flat
  • Carestack
  • Denticon
  • Dentrix
  • Dentrix Ascend
  • Dolphin
  • Eaglesoft 
  • Easy Dental
  • Open Dental
  • Tab32

While these systems are popular, you’ve likely already experienced the drawbacks and limitations with their timekeeping. Here’s how timekeeping systems within practice management software can fall flat:

Ability to Make Edits to Timesheets

PMS timesheets tend to have an all-or-nothing approach to your ability to edit timesheets. You can either allow full-edit privileges or none at all. You may leave it to the discretion of managers to adjust timesheet trackers when an employee forgets to clock in or out. The employee usually communicates the oversight to managers via verbal notification, a text message, or an email. Any changes to a timesheet can be time-consuming and frustrating, but it can also leave you open to potential liability, depending on where you’re located.  

Recommended Reading

Why You Should Never Adjust an Employee's Timesheet

Rest Break Tracking

If your dental practice is located in one of the 41 states that require mandatory rest breaks, you need to track that compliance every day. Unfortunately, many PMS time clocks do not track rest breaks.

Leave of Absence Tracking

PMS time clocks do not track vacation or sick leave balances. So, instead of tracking all your timekeeping functionality in one place, you may be tracking vacation time, sick leave, and Paid Time Off (PTO) hours on an Excel spreadsheet or even on a physical calendar. With an old-school process like that, it’s easy to make errors, but it can also feel frustrating, confusing, and unfair to your employees when they don’t know how many hours of leave are available to them. 

 

Timekeeping Systems for Dental Practices—Why They Fall Flat

Multiple Rates of Pay

Most PMS time clock features have no way to allocate hours to multiple rates of pay. For example, you may offer a different pay rate for training or overtime. You may need to manually adjust these figures. 

Alerts Around Timekeeping Behavior

PMS time clock features typically do not support alerts or tracking related to many important actions. Here are a few actions that you need to track: 

  • Overtime worked
  • Tardiness
  • Early clock-ins

Even if you have all the other timekeeping data, it can be a time-consuming and frustrating process to track whether your employees arrive early to work, whether they are late, or if they are working overtime. 

Overtime Calculations

Most PMS time clocks require you to manually calculate overtime (OT) for employees. If your employees are paid per diem, with a flat rate per day or a percent of production/a percent of collection, they are still eligible for OT. Many dental practices simply do not make the manual calculations for OT, which means you may not comply with state law. Reach out to HR for Health to learn how we can help with all your timesheets and payroll needs today!

What Timekeeping Benefits Does HR for Health Offer? 

At HR for Health, our integrated time clock and payroll features are designed to improve employee performance, and also support virtually every aspect of your HR processes, including how you hire and fire your employees. Here are a few important features you should know. 

Recommended Reading

How To Optimize Timesheet Compliance In Your Medical, Dental, And Optometry Practice

Advanced Payroll Features

80% of employee timesheets need to be corrected. With HR for Health’s time clock, your employees no longer need to ask you with a post-it note, text message, or verbal notification. Your employees can edit their time themselves and you’ll receive an automatic alert so you can approve of the edit. Your employee must give a reason for the edit, so you have an audit trail of who made the change and why. 

With HR for Health’s time clock, an auto-notification shows for employees upon each clock-in, and this acts as a reminder for them to take their break(s) for the day.  This notification feature helps you avoid disagreements and misunderstandings in the future. You’ll have proof that you reminded your employees to take breaks. 

Timekeeping Systems for Dental Practices—Why They Fall Flat

NOTE: Rest break claims are one of the most common HR complaints. With other practice management software, you can't easily track and prove compliance. 

As your employees clock in, some may accrue hours at a rate already established in your employee handbook. You can also track and process payroll based on multiple rates of pay via projects in HR for Health’s software

Calculations & Weighted Averages

With HR for Health’s system, you can automatically process weighted average calculations when your employee incurs overtime and they also worked under two different rates of pay for the workweek. You can also automatically process non-discretionary bonus calculations, which can normally be time consuming calculations. 

With HR for Health’s system, our time clock and leave of absence tracking functionalities are tied together. As your employee works, they accrue hours based on the policies you have established in your employee handbook. The employee can see the available hours for PTO, so they can make a request in the system. You’ll be alerted, and you can either approve or deny the request.

Overtime & Tardy Alerts

You can also track per diem employees. If your employee works overtime, our HR for Health system automatically calculates what you owe a per diem employee. That includes tracking additional payouts, including reimbursements, bonuses, and commissions. Our overtime calculations are processed automatically, with state and federal compliance in mind.

As part of our tracking functionality, we offer special alerts around timekeeping behavior:

  • Daily watchdog reports with overtime summary
  • Tardiness tracking (customized threshold)
  • Early clock-in notifications

HR for Health’s time clock automatically calculates OT based on your state’s laws for all non-exempt employees. You can correctly process payroll regardless of whether your employees are paid per diem, a percent of production, and a percent of the collection. Better yet, the process of running your payroll report is a matter of three clicks. Find out how HR for Health can support your payroll requirements. 

Recommended Reading

HR for Health Feature Spotlight: Automated Overtime Tracking

How HR For Health Can Help!

At HR for Health, we offer an all-in-one HR software solution. Our human resources platform features all the tools you need to manage payroll, timekeeping, 401(k), and more with total integration and ease. We’re dedicated to helping the dental, optometry, physical therapy, and veterinary industries. 

We offer comprehensive support and services that ensure compliance while saving you time and money. No matter what your question or concern may be or how it relates to your human resource challenges, HR for Health has the solution to fit your budget. Reach out to HR for Health to learn more today!

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Topics: Timeclocks, dentist, dental practice

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