A physician has certain responsibilities regarding patient notification, continuity of care, and record management when leaving a practice or retiring. These are outlined in the CPSS Leaving Practice Guide
Management of Patient Records
If there are physicians remaining at your clinic after you leave, there is the option to arrange transfer of the patients to those physicians, therefore keeping the records at the same clinic. They may also be transferred to another physician, or a health care facility.
In cases where the entire practice is closing, according to our Bylaw 23.1 CPSS Regulatory Bylaws the records must be securely stored, for six years after the date of last visit, or death, or two years after age 18 for pediatric patients. They also must be accessible by patients or the College during this period of time. The CMPA recommends retention of medical records for ten years from last entry or age of majority.
Requirements for record storage and transfer upon leaving practice are stated in the Bylaw.
Further information about proper record transfer procedures can be found in our Guideline: Transfer of Patient Records.
There are a number of options for secure record storage, either through the EMR providers or private companies.