With no specific timeframe listed in Illinois law; all facets of law must be considered when determining how long to keep medical records. This video provides insight into the records retention requirements in place.
Neither the Illinois Medical Practice Act nor the Rules specifies a number of years that office medical records must be retained. However, other laws, including statutes of limitation on medical malpractice and personal injury claims, may be used as guidelines for record retention. A physician should consider these laws in formulating a policy that is tailored to the needs of the individual practice.
The use of electronic health records (EHR) in the physician office provides many benefits, including quick access to accurate, complete information about patients at the point of care; legible, complete documentation; reduction of medical errors; privacy and security of health information, secure sharing of electronic information; and streamlining of coding and billing. Without a doubt, the process of transitioning from paper records to EHR can be challenging and stressful, but the rewards are worthwhile.