Retention and Destruction of Health Information: A Review Study

Document Type : review


Aim: Health information is used for better healthcare treatment, research, insurance, employment, auditing, and accreditation. The importance of retention of health information, the complexity of regulations, and the inability of healthcare institutions to keep such records permanently, led to this study.
Method: This scoping review explicitly refers to “retention and destruction of health information” or equivalent terms regarding relevant studies and laws, published in PubMed, Web of Science and CINAHL, SID, and websites of the Ministry of Health in countries since 2000. Data collection tool was the data collection form. It included details of the law, duration of retention, type of health information, year, and country of origin. Data analysis was conducted using comparative tables and determination of the common and different aspects of the system as a descriptive-theoretical analysis.
Results: The study was carried out on regulations concerning the storing of hospitalization records of the usual, minor, emergency, death, and legal cases in different countries. In the countries under study, health information retention laws were updated according to the type and content of medical data, type of institution, and national conditions and laws.
Conclusion: The legal period of retaining medical records is determined by variables like the type of illness or injury, location of an accident, patient's legal age, the likely course of treatment in terms of patient recovery or death, type of admission, and also the effect of these factors on medical, legal and scientific needs.


Volume 3, Issue 1
July 2022
Pages 32-38
  • Receive Date: 02 January 2022
  • Revise Date: 26 March 2022
  • Accept Date: 13 July 2022
  • First Publish Date: 25 July 2022