Importance of Preservation

When it comes to medical records, health care facilities and practices have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety and preservation of all medical records, whether they are in paper or EHR format. Data protection legislation states that a record’s custodian and creator has the legal responsibility and is considered the owner of the physical medical records. This includes tracings and films from diagnostic tests such as MRI, X-Ray, PRT, CT, and more. However, the information in these records is technically the property of the patient. They have the right to obtain copies of their records as well as to see the originals according to the law. Those responsible for maintaining the records must make sure that all electronic medical record software, hardware, and media remains viable, is securely backed up, and is protected from the effects of degradation. As media does degrade over time, transferring the data to ensure its preservation is essential.