National Medical Record Retention Laws
Mehdi Dehnavi1, Mahdie Shojaei Baghini
Background & Objective: The aim of this study was to gain knowledge about the methods used in reviewing the retention and disposal periods of different types of medical records in different countries. Method: This was an applied and descriptive-comparative study and was carried out in accordance to the laws related to the time of retention of medical records from 2016. Data collection tools were data collection forms and information sources. The method of data collection was by reviewing articles, journals, books, reputable websites related to government centers, academic and professional associations and other written documents. Data analysis was done using comparative tables and determination of the common and different aspects of the system as a descriptive-theoretical analysis. Result: In the countries under study, medical record retention laws were updated according to the type and content of medical data, type of institution and according to national conditions and laws. Conclusion: Based on the law, healthcare institutions are required to keep patient records and documents. On the other hand, permanent record retention is not possible for reasons such as the decreased value of medical records’ information after time expiration, lack of appropriate space, high cost of record retention, and overcrowding of archive space and the psychological effect on staff. Therefore, there should be clear guidelines and instructions for the retention and disposal of medical records.