Skip to Content

Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0880-02-.15 - Requirements for Creation and Maintenance of Medical Records for Physicians

Link to the law
This will open in a new window

All physicians must create and maintain a medical record for each patient that is separate and distinct from those records generated for the patient by the physician in the course of providing medical services to the patient.  All medical records must include all required information and documentation, and such additional information as is necessary for any subsequent reviewing or treating provider to ascertain the basis for the diagnosis, treatment plan and outcomes, and provide continuity of care for the patient. 

When a physician retires, dies, or sells a medical practice, copies of the patient’s medical records will be transferred to the patient’s new physician upon authorization from the patient. 

Physicians must retain medical records for at least 10 years from the last contact with the patient.  However, immunization records and records for incompetent patients must be retained indefinitely and mammography records must be retained for 20 years.  X-rays need only be retained for 4 years if there is a document that interprets the image that is kept in the medical record.  Medical records of minors must be retained for at least one year after the patient reaches the age of majority or 10 years from the date of last contact, whichever is longer. 

Medical records may only be destroyed in the usual course of business.  Records can be destroyed by burning, shredding, or other means that maintain the confidentiality of the records.  The date and circumstances of record destruction must be maintained. 

Current as of June 2015