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Protecting Goodwill During Practice Transitions

By: Wendy Catone

Selling your practice can be a stressful time for both your patients and staff. In the excitement of taking the next step in your professional life, it can be easy to underestimate the strength of the bond your patients and office team may feel towards you.

Take measures to reassure your patients and staff well before your departure to help preserve goodwill and ensure the ongoing success of your practice. Mailing a transition announcement two to three months before you leave the practice is fundamental. Here are several more steps to take that may help keep patients in the practice:

  • Plan a "meet and greet" event at the practice for patients and staff to get to know the buying practitioner before he or she comes on board. The face-to-face interaction may help patients feel more relaxed with the new doctor and may help assure them that their care will continue to be in good hands.
  • Have the new doctor work alongside you for a month or two before your departure, conducting routine examinations and scheduling follow-up appointments. This will give patients time to get accustomed to the idea of working with someone new in your office.
  • As soon as possible, introduce all staff members to the buying doctor to help them feel comfortable and confident that they are valued members of the transition team. Try to keep existing staff members on board throughout the transition period, as they are vital links to the success of the transition and retention of current patients.

Clearly, the primary elements of a successful transition are full transparency with staff and open communications with your team and patients. By following these guidelines, you may help ease the process and ensure a positive transition for all concerned.

About the Author

Wendy K. Catone is the Florida Business Development Manager for Wells Fargo Practice Finance. She is an experienced consultant and finance professional who has been servicing the financial needs of healthcare practitioners for over 25 years. Ms. Catone speaks at seminars and professional schools throughout the year. With a variety of financial products, Wells Fargo Practice Finance helps dentists start, build, grow, and transition their practices throughout their career. She can be reached at 800-708-0279 or wendy.catone@wellsfargo.com

View all articles by Wendy Catone


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All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.