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MRA Thought of the Day – Properly Destroying Medical Records

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Situation:

Nilda Tamburello RHIA, Vice President of Release Of Information

Nilda Tamburello RHIA, Vice President of Release Of Information

A Massachusetts hospital is moving their HIM department and in the process wishes to destroy several thousandths of their old medical records.

To clarify, the hospital’s Director of HIM checks with their attorney. The attorney says they could not simply destroy these records and there were specific guidelines that the facility must follow.

What guideline was the attorney referring to?

The attorney was referring to the Department of Public Health’s protocol for the lowest price viagra retention of medical records stating that:

  • The records must be in excess of 20 years from the last discharge date or the final treatment of the patient to whom a retained medical record relates.
  • The facility must notify patients in written form of their record retention and destruction policies (this will include the specific range of dates when the records originated or when the patients discharge or final treatment took place, type of record, and the planned date(s) of destruction).
  • They must notify the Department of Public Health at least 30 days in advance of their intent to destroy medical records.
  • The site may notify the DPH once annually of all destruction planned through the year if they choose, as long as the notification is after the 20 year retention period, however they are not obliged to do so.

For more info refer to the circular from the Department of Public Health’s website below:

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/quality/hcq-circular-letters/dhcq-0907515.pdf

What are your thoughts?

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