Health Information Management

HIPAA Q&A: You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers!

HIM-HIPAA Insider, June 16, 2014

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Submit your HIPAA questions to Editor Jaclyn Fitzgerald at jfitzgerald@hcpro.com and we will work with our experts to provide you with the information you need.
 
Q: At what point can an organization shred the charts that have been completely scanned into the electronic medical record (EMR) system?
 
A: If your state considers electronic storage media to be legally acceptable for medical records, you can destroy the paper records as soon as they are scanned into the EMR and reviewed for quality. You would define your legal medical record to be your EMR and set a reasonable time frame to hold paper originals after scanning, such as 30–60 days. You could choose to destroy paper originals immediately after scanning, but many organizations hold them for a short time before destroying them.
 
Editor’s note: Mary D. Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, vice president of health information at Baylor Scott & White Health in Temple, Texas, answered this question for HCPro’s Briefings on HIPAA newsletter.



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