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Medical Record Availability - 22 CA ADC §70751

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Records must be kept for all patients admitted to the hospital.  All records must be maintained in a form that is legible and readily available.  All records must be kept for at least 7 years, except that records of unemancipated minors must be kept for an additional year after they reach they age of majority.  Hospital medical records, including x-rays are the property of the hospital and must be safeguarded.  If a hospital ceases operation, the Department of Health must be informed in order to provide safekeeping of the medical records.  If the ownership of a hospital changes, prior to the change, the new licensee and previous owner must provide the Department with documentation stating that the new licensee will have custody of the medical records upon transfer of ownership, that arrangements have been made for the safe preservation of patient medical records, and that the records will be available to new and former licensees and other authorized individuals.  
Medical records must be stored in an easily accessible location in the hospital or an approved offsite facility.  Medical records must be promptly authenticated or signed by a licensed health care professional.  Medical records should be indexed based on patient, diagnosis and individual practitioner.  A new record must be opened if a patient is transferred to a different level of care within a hospital that has a distinct skilled nursing or intermediate care facility.  

Current as of January 2016