Closing a medical practice is a complex undertaking and requires a carefully planned strategy. While there are many lists of things to remember for such an event, here are what we believe are 5 essential tips to ensure that you’ll cover all the bases when closing your practice.
1. Inform your staff three months in advance of the anticipated closing date. Remember, they have lives too and while you may fear their premature departure, your honesty usually pays off and is appreciated.
2. Make sure to outline a staff severance policy and take care to meet your obligations to pay any unused benefits such as sick time and vacation. If you’re at all unsure, check with employment standards for your province as well as with your accountant.
3. Your high-risk patients who have chronic or complex medical conditions should be informed early so that they can secure a new doctor and ensure continuity of care without interruption. Even better would be to call in some favours from colleagues who might be able to take them on. Make referrals, where appropriate.
4. Most of the provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons suggest that notification of intent to close your practice should go out to patients 3 months before the date. You can mail (to active patients who were last seen within the last 2-3 years), post a notice in your office, leave a recording on your voicemail and notify by way of automated dialler to patients.
5. Secure and protect the confidentiality of the records you retain. Keep in mind that each province has its own retention requirements. This applies to both paper and to EMR. Storage options include archiving records, contracting with a storage firm, or scanning into a read-only digital media. You’ll want to use a professional records company for this last option as well.
Since 1997, RSRS has assisted over hundreds of Canadian physicians with their medical practice closures and record-storage obligations. For storage and scanning, whether you’re retiring, relocating or enquiring on behalf of a doctor’s estate, RSRS can help. RSRS is the only physician-managed, fully compliant storage facility in Canada and follows the guidelines for each Canadian province with respect to medical practice closure and patient record retention.
Call us today at 1-888-563-3732 or visit our website.