Articles and Resources for Canadian Retiring, Relocating Physicians and Physician Estates

Notification to Patients

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Letter for patient notification

THE NOTIFICATION LETTER - When planning to close your medical practice, it is imperative that your patients are properly notified.

Whether you’re a relocating physician, a retiring physician or you represent the estate of a just deceased physician, the element of notification to patients is quite important.

Generally speaking, notification can take on the form of a letter, newspaper anouncements and/or phone call, depending on the area and what is possible.  In larger cities, most physicians will construct a letter to be sent to the “active” patients (ie. those last seen within the last 2 years – for GPs).  The letter should cover the elements of:

  • Date of Closure
  • How to find a new doctor
  • How and where to obtain / transfer a copy of the patient’s medical record

In smaller communities where word tends to get around anyway, a few timely newspaper anouncements may suffice.  The anouncement should cover off the same information as would a mailed letter.

In Ontario, the CPSO recommends a minimum of 90 days notification prior to the date of closure.  Naturally, in the case of a recently deceased physician, this is not possible, and notification should take place as soon as possible under the circumstances.  In their Policy #2-07 , the CPSO details their expectations with respect to notification both in terms of the timing and other details including follow-ups, medications, etc.  At RSRS, we tend to additionally recommend to our clients a posting in the office, a revised outgoing message on the answering service, as well as tear-off slips to hand to the patients that come in for a visit during the final months of practice.

RSRS provides template notification letters, newspaper anouncements, office postings and tear-off slips for its physician clients.

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RSRS – Record Storage & Retrieval Services assists Canadian physicians with practice closure and medical records management. For more information, visit our website here.

Tel:  1-888-563-3732

Fax: 1-877-398-5932