Record and Data Retention Schedule
Manual and CD format now available

2018 edition coming in late July. Check back for details.


Which records should be kept and for how long?

Storing records needlessly is costly. Yet disposing of them prematurely raises legal concerns. This straightforward guidebook tells which records should be kept and for how long, and helps you establish an efficient records retention schedule. Included is an overview of legal and practical considerations in determining record retention policies.

Especially useful is a schedule of statutory and regulatory retention requirements by document type. Records commonly used by hospitals and other health care providers are listed. The schedule also recommends how long to keep records when the law requires retention but doesn’t specify time frames.

For information on the importance of record retention, download the Record Retention Policies and Requirements memo.


  • Record Retention Considerations
  • Record Retention Recommended 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

(8th edition, 2011 — Originally published as the “Records Retention Guide”)

Electronic Version

Now available electronically!
The guide is available for purchase on CD separately or with the manual. View the entire guide on your computer using Adobe Reader or Acrobat. The interactive PDF allows you to search for key words and navigate through the document with linked references. Please note that the electronic version of the guide cannot be printed.

For more information on the electronic version of the guide click here.


The guide is available for purchase on CD separately or with the manual. Order the manual and CD together to save and benefit from both of these helpful resources.

Printed Manual Only — $85 members/$170 nonmembers
CD Only — $85 members/$170 nonmembers
Manual and CD — $150 members/$325 nonmembers