Medical Records Retention Best Practices
Texas physicians must retain medical records in accordance with the requirements of Texas Medical Board Rule 165.1(b). This rule requires that physicians keep:
- Medical records for each patient for at least seven years from the most recent date of treatment.
- Medical records of patients who were younger than 18 at their most recent visit for seven years from their most recent visit or until the patient turns 21, whichever date is later
- Medical records that pertain to any ongoing criminal, civil, or administrative legal case until the proceeding is resolved.
- Immunization records for 10 years from the end of the year that the consent form was signed. For minors, physicians must keep immunization records for10 years from the end of the year the consent form was signed or the patient’s 21st birthday, whichever date is later.
- Screening labs, including vision and hearing, for seven years from the most recent date of screening or until the patient turns 21, whichever date is later.
- Dental records for five years.
Best practices include keeping a schedule for retention at each location where records are stored. The schedule should include a plan for proper destruction of the records as they become eligible for disposal.
Texas Levies Penalties for Early Destruction
There can be penalties levied for the premature destruction of medical records. Yet medical records add up quickly and finding space to house them can be challenging. The data contained in medical records are private and subject to federal privacy laws, so physicians must take special care regarding where and how they house the information.
Contracting with the full-service document management solutions firm Armstrong Archives can be a cost-effective way to maintain compliance.
Armstrong Offers Transition Assistance
One of the biggest hurdles to transitioning to offsite file storage is the fear that it will take too long to catalog the files for transport. Armstrong Archives solves this challenge by coming to your office to box and catalog the files for you. We even complete your transmittal forms and barcode each box.
Our online system allows you to have 24/7 access to you inventory. When you need a file, you can access the actual file via our comfortable viewing room, requesting expedited same-day delivery, or you may simply ask us to scan and email the required information to you.
Posted By: Sherri Taylor – President/Managing Partner
Sherri Taylor is the Managing Partner and President of Armstrong Archives, one of the largest independent records and information management companies in the Dallas/Ft Worth area.