Emergency Practice Closure

If a clinic or practice must close in the event of an emergency, physicians must ensure to take action to address the following points as quickly as possible to ensure continuity of care for patients and a smooth transition to alternate healthcare services.

 Download Emergency Practice Closure information below in PDF format.

1. Send Notifications

Notify patients, members of the public, affected healthcare practitioners and organisations, including the following:

- Patients – cancel upcoming appointments
- Message on phone
- Sign on door
- Chief of Staff
- Department Head
- Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA)
- Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA)
- College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS) – Registration Services, Prescription Review Program
- Laboratories
- Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan
- Hospital(s) – Switchboard, Health Records
- Pooled Referrals
- Long Term Care
- Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA)
- Medical Services Branch (MSB)

2.  Ensure Continuity of Care

- Find alternate physicians to accept patient care, at least temporarily
- Find alternate physician(s) for long term care coverage
- Ensure transfer of records
- New referrals - send back to referring physician or forward to designated physician

3. Access to Charts

Charts must be:

- available to physician reviewing results, completing forms,
- available for review or transfer to treating physicians,
- available to CPSS if necessary, 
securely stored if moved from office. – Chart storage companies or an EMR provider can arrange this for a fee.  (Some of these services charge patients for access.)

4. Outstanding Results and Referrals

- Lab results must be reviewed in a timely manner by a designated physician
- Abnormal results must be followed up by a designated physician – arrange treatment, appointment, referral as needed
- Chart access is necessary
- Review and follow up plan must be documented
- Results filed in chart

5. Completion of forms

- Office staff can send copies from chart requested by outside agencies
- Forms may be completed by another physician, or exam may need to be redone if not documented
- Notify agencies – may need to extend deadlines, or resend forms
- Hospital records need to be completed as much as possible


6. Physical Office Space

- Continue phone service with a message for patients
- Continue or forward fax to receive results
- Keep office staff if possible to assist with chart transfers and information
Mail must be picked up
- Physician/family needs to deal with bills, taxes, insurance


7. Prescriptions

- Non-controlled drugs can be filled by pharmacy during a temporary closure
- Controlled drugs can be filled by pharmacy until refills run out
- These patients need to find another physician as soon as possible
- Methadone patients need another physician for prescriptions and fills; in emergency situation pharmacy may get government permission to provide bridging prescriptions


Other Useful Resources

CPSS Leaving Practice

Prescription Validity - When a Prescriber is no longer practising

CMPA Considerations when leaving practice

CMPA Retention and Transfer of Clinical Records