Retainage of Records

Q: Does CMS or Joint Commission require Administration and Board information to be kept archived? For how long?

A: I am not aware of any CMS or Joint Commission regulation that requires hospitals to retain administration records for any certain length of time.

However, don’t be in a hurry to dispose of such records. During an accreditation survey, the surveyors typically want to see documentation for the past 3-years. But I have received emails from clients who were asked to present documents regarding a specific issue that went back 7-years. Also, there are legal implications that you may need documentation of certain administrative or board action.

In summary, it is best to never discard documents of administrative or board actions. I suggest you find a crawl-space somewhere in your facility and retain your documents for the life of the organization.