The legal requirements governing the content, retention, and destruction of health information most closely resemble a patchwork quilt: various federal and state laws and regulations address issues central to these health information matters.
No one reliable scheme exists that addresses all of the issues contained in this chapter.
For example, to guarantee compliance with all the requirements, health information managers must consider
(1) quasi-legal requirements such as accrediting and institutional standards,
(2) professional guidelines,
(3) state law, and
(4) federal law.
Health information managers must then incorporate these legal and quasi legal requirements into policy, balancing these factors against the function and uses of health information and practical concerns, such as storage constraints, and maintaining the privacy and security of health data.
To prepare yourself for the day when you might be responsible for implementing policies for your facility, do some research to learn about your state’s requirements concerning record retention and record destruction. A good source of information is your state’s Department of Health website. For background on what should be included in a retention and destruction policy/schedule for health records, please review the AHIMA document “Retention and Destruction of Health Information (2013 update)”. In addition, you can begin with accessing HealthIT.gov’s retention schedule, then look up the information for your state.(Indiana)
In a discussion board post:
• Summarize the rules governing medical records in your state.
• Identify factors that you think influence the record retention policies in your state, as well as differences for destruction of HIV and alcohol/drug abuse records.
• Identify whether record retention policies in your state reference the privacy and security of health data. If not, please explain if your state policy should reference privacy and security, and why.
• Explain what role a statute of limitations plays in a record retention policy and the factors that influence the policy.