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Hospital Records; retention – N.M. Stat. Ann. §14-6-2

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Hospitals must retain medical records dealing with the care and treatment of a patient for 10 years following the discharge of a patient.  Lab reports and tests can be destroyed after one year of the test being reported, provided that it is recorded and a copy is placed in the patient’s record.  If a copy is not put in the patient’s record, the lab test can be destroyed after four years from the date of the test being reported.  X-rays may be destroyed after four years from the date of exposure if there are hospital records of written notes by the doctor.  After the third year of retention, the patient may pick up his or her X-rays, as long as any physician written notes are retained in the medical record. 

After the above specific retention periods, a hospital can destroy the specified items in the ordinary course of business and in keeping with the confidentiality of the information.

“Hospital” is defined by the statute as any Department of Health licensed institution that receives and care for the sick.

Current as of June 2015