Records retention is challenging for healthcare entities. The requirements are complex and there is a lack of harmony among state, federal, and accreditation requirements. State and federal regulations identify different documents you must maintain in a patient’s medical record and mandate different retention periods for the medical record. Federal law typically requires the retention of…
Healthcare records are often subject to an analysis which involves reviewing an organization’s health record for proper documentation and adherence to regulatory and accreditation standards.
Accrediting agencies generally don’t mandate specific retention requirements, but they do require healthcare entities to have records readily available for surveyor review, and impose specific requirements on the types of records you must retain.
The Joint Commission, for example, allows healthcare entities to retain records in accordance with state and federal law, but requires entities to have records available dating back to the last full survey. Similarly, Det Norske Veritas requires the retention of receipt and disposition records for radiopharmaceuticals, but does not identify a retention period.
Since a deficiency can lead to a corrective action plan or worse, it is important to incorporate the accreditation standards into your retention policy alongside state and federal regulations.