How long are Records keptWe keep active records for ten years. Expired records are kept for 25 years as well as newborn charts for 25 years. We also keep a Master Summary for 25 years, which is a list of Diagnoses and Procedures for the patient. Outpatient records are also kept ten years.
Purpose of keeping RecordsThe main purpose for keeping records is for continuity of care for the patient. The medical record provides a concise history of a person's healthcare and is used for various purposes, but always with the emphasis on confidentiality.
HIPAAIt is an act legislated by the government in 1996 to protect the privacy rights of the individual. The actual HIPAA was enforced in April of 2005. The hospital has a Privacy Oversight Committee which meets quarterly but can meet on an as needed basis. Privacy incidents are reviewed and recommended to Risk Management for their final determination. Policies and procedures are in place to guide us in the enforcement of HIPAA.
Contact: Pam Suhler, RHIT Director of Medical Records