As you prepare to close your medical practice, you may feel concern over your patients’
ability to find a new health care practitioner. Of course, posting a notice in your office, mailing a letter to active patients or running a small ad in your local paper (all
services that RSRS can provide on your behalf) are some of the key ways to ensure that you get the message out and comply with provincial CPSO requirements.
Even with sufficient notice, ending the physician-patient relationship will usually have significant consequences for the patient, as he or she will need to find another health care provider. Long-term care patients, seniors, and acute/chronic care patients need to find a new primary care physician as quickly as possible. The current shortage of primary care physicians in Ontario may make this especially difficult.
Health Care Connect (HCC) was launched in the province of Ontario in 2009;
the service does not provide health care advice or treatment for patients, but strives to connect patients with new primary care physicians. At the time of its launch, approximately 780,000 Ontarians were without the services of a primary care physician. About 8% of these patients are considered to be high-needs.
The program takes registration information provided by the patient and prioritizes them
through a scoring methodology (i.e. high vs. low need). Registering with HCC doesn’t guarantee that a family health practitioner can be found for all patients, so each patient is encouraged to conduct their own search.
If you are a closing physician in Ontario, RSRS will include details and contact information for Health Care Connect to all your patients if we are notifying them on your behalf. Patients receiving this notification letter can then expedite their search for a new physician. You can further assist your high-needs patients by reminding them of
their status so that they can be fast-tracked through Health Care Connect and more
quickly rostered with a new physician. Additionally, HCC services are available in French and 120 other languages, as needed, for your patients whose first language is not English.
Patients do not need permission from any physician in order to be de-rostered when they contact Health Care Connect. Health Care Connect de-rosters them automatically, and transfers them to a new physician, usually within 2 weeks. Patients are free to
obtain care from any physician they choose, even if they are not officially rostered with that physician. However, keeping accurate lists of rostered patients is important in order that the Ministry of Health properly allocate services such as nurse practitioners, therapists, dieticians, and diabetes education, etc. to physicians and health teams. Some of these services may only be available to rostered patients.
Since 1997, RSRS has assisted hundreds of physicians with their medical practice closures and record storage obligations. RSRS is the only physician-managed, fully compliant storage facility in Canada, and we follow the guidelines for each Canadian province with respect to medical practice closure and patient record retention.
We offer a complete medical practice closure consulting service, and in most cases for
Ontario Primary Care Doctors, we can offer full record scanning and storage services and more, at NO CHARGE*.