Retention and Destruction of Health Information (Updated 2011)

Appendix C: AHIMA's Recommended Retention Standards

Health Information Recommended Retention Period
Diagnostic images (such as x-ray film) (adults) 5 years
Diagnostic images (such as x-ray film) (minors) 5 years after the age of majority
Disease index 10 years
Fetal heart monitor records 10 years after the age of majority
Master patient/person index Permanently
Operative index 10 years
Patient health/medical records (adults) 10 years after the most recent encounter
Patient health/medical records (minors) Age of majority plus statute of limitations
Physician index 10 years
Register of births Permanently
Register of deaths Permanently
Register of surgical procedures Permanently

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Article citation:
AHIMA. "Retention and Destruction of Health Information. Appendix C: AHIMA's Recommended Retention Standards." (Updated August 2011).