Purging Medical Records from EHR after retention time


We had a question come up. Right now we still have some paper charts that we have to retain because we keep them for 10 years from last visit, etc. Our EHR was started in 2009. Our IT Manager said that he thought we were going to purge records from our EHR after the retention time was up. Have any of you thought about this? Are you keeping your electronic charts forever or will you only keep them until their retention time is up and then purge them?

Thanks for your help.

Katherine A. Hopkins, RHIA, RN
Health Information Manager
Ridgecrest Regional Hospital
1081 N. China Lake Blvd.
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
(760) 499-3670


  • edited May 2016
    We have to revisit our policy to accommodate the EMR, but my understanding is we are keeping electronic records on going. However, until we begin to scan, the paper portion will be purged.

    Sheila Schultz
    Director of HIM
    Wheeling Hospital
    One Medical Park
    Wheeling WV 26003
    Fax 304-243-8599

  • edited May 2016
    At this time we will be keeping our electronic forever, we have been live since 2006

    Thomas Edwards, RHIA
    Corporate HIM Director/Privacy Officer
    Riverside Health System
    500 J. Clyde Morris Boulevard
    Newport News, VA 23601
    Phone 757-594-4146

    If you use ICD-9 you will be impacted by ICD-10, have you started to make changes in your area?

  • edited May 2016
    Different parts of the record may require different retention periods
    you will have look at your state laws.

    Regards DWT

    Donna Walker-Thomas, MBA, RHIA, CPC, CMA

    Director of Coding

    The Miriam Hospital

    Phone: 401 793-3202/Fax: 401 793-3750

  • I know our retention period. We have to keep them for 7 years except for minors and employees. We currently keep regular visits for 10 years, minors for 20 and employees for 30.

    Are you planning on purging your EHR after your retention period is up?

  • Thanks!

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