Record and Data Retention Schedule
A guidebook on which records should be kept and for how long

FREE PDF Download Click Here
Purchase Printed Manual  Buy Now
Non-Member Rate  
Printed Manual
Buy Now
Electronic Manual (PDF)
Buy Now
Print/Electronic Bundle
Buy Now


NOTE: As CHA’s fulfillment team works remotely in response to Coronavirus concerns, we are no longer shipping printed manuals until further notice. Manuals are available to members immediately through PDF download or the CHA Manuals App.

CHA’s Record and Data Retention Schedule provides an overview of practical considerations in determining record retention policies and helps answer the question which records need to be kept and for how long.

The guide can help reduce storage costs and avoid legal pitfalls by making clear when it is safe to dispose of certain records. This comprehensive resource addresses all formats – including paper, electronic, microfiche, and audio/visual recordings – and discusses:

  • Why hospitals and health care providers should have a record retention policy
  • Pertinent factors to consider when determining how long to keep various documents
  • General record retention considerations, with specific state and federal requirements listed
  • Considerations regarding record disposal and/or destruction


  • Record Retention Considerations
  • Recommended Record Retention Schedule
    • Administrative Records
    • Admitting Records
    • Business and Finance Records
    • Department Records
    • Dietary Department Records
    • Engineering Records
    • Housekeeping/Environmental Services Records
    • Human Resources Records
    • Imaging/Radiology Records
    • Laboratory Records and Specimens
    • Medical Records
    • Medical Staff Records
    • Nuclear Medicine Records
    • Nursing Records
    • Pharmacy Records
    • Public Relations Records
    • Purchasing and Receiving Records
    • Research Records

(9th edition, 2018 — Originally published as the “Records Retention Guide”)

Preview the Guidebook

Click here to preview the guidebook.

E-Manual Terms of Use

CHA Members

Electronic copies of CHA Publications are available free to CHA members. CHA members may download each PDF for their individual use and/or post it to an Intranet or shared workstation environment.

CHA Nonmembers

Limited Use License: In purchasing this electronic publication (Publication), the individual who purchased it (Purchaser) agrees to abide by the terms of this Limited Use License. This Limited Use License: (1) gives Purchaser a non-exclusive, non-assignable, royalty free, perpetual, limited right to use this electronic publication only for his/her personal use; and (2) prohibits Purchaser from posting, reproducing, distributing, disseminating, transmitting, or otherwise allowing anyone else to access or use this Publication. CHA is and will be the sole and exclusive owner of all right, title, and interest, including intellectual property rights, in this Publication and its contents. CHA will strictly enforce the terms of this Limited Use License.

NOTE: Print functionality is disabled in the Individual PDF. 

Purchases that include electronic publications are not refundable.

For questions about the policy, contact Publications.