discussion retention of medical records

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Medical records belong to the patient and the healthcare facility in which they were created. This is why patients are allowed a copy of their medical record, but not the original document.

Please read the following article from American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) regarding the retention and destruction of health information, http://library.ahima.org/doc?oid=300217#.XXbKHzZKiM8, and then discuss:

  • What are the different types of healthcare records and where are they often stored?
  • What is considered an active record and an inactive record?
  • What is the difference between purging records and destroying records?
  • When are healthcare records allowed to be destroyed and what are some of the reason’s records would be destroyed?

Please make your initial post by midweek, and respond to at least one other student’s post by the end of the week. Please check the Course Calendar for specific due dates.


Medical records can be application based information, patient indexes, xrays, any diagnostic information or any personal and medical information about the patient.An active record is a record that may be referred to or used on a regular basis. An inactive record is one that is used rarely but are required to be retained if they are needed to be referred to and satisfy the retention requirements.It also may mean that the patient has fulfilled their treatment.When records are purged that meansthey are sorted by active an inactive and filed according to the organizations retention schedule.Records that are destroyed need to be in accordance with the and state laws.There is no standard requirement for record destruction.That being said , records involved with litigation or investigation can not be destroyed.Organization should compare their statue of limitations with council when creating a records retention schedule.


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