Ask HRC: Event Report Retention Requirements

March 31, 2009 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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A Healthcare Risk Control (HRC) member recently e-mailed us seeking guidance on requirements for retention of adverse event report documents. ECRI Institute is not aware of a national standard recommending the timeframe for event report retention. Generally, facilities may choose to tie their event report retention policies to those for their medical records. Others may tie their event report retention policies to those for purging policies and procedure manuals, since policy and procedure manuals are often needed for purposes of litigation and might be relevant to an event report.

Absent any reasonable guidepost, 10 years is typically a timeframe that hospitals use for retention of records. Indeed, in the HRC Risk Analysis Medical Records, we note that the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management recommends that, unless a longer...

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