Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about a pressing risk management issue? Our experienced Risk Management analysts have answers. From treating minors to retaining patient records to employee leaves of absence, chances are, your question has been asked before. The following is a list of frequently asked questions, along with practical solutions, that can help you avoid liability within your practice.

Following TDIC’s recommendation, I’m getting ready to dispose of the records of adult patients who have not been seen in my practice for more than 10 years. What is the proper way to dispose of those records?

Dispose of old patient charts by burning or shredding them. Do not simply throw them in the trash, as they include confidential information that you have a duty to protect. Hiring records disposal companies that specialize in destroying records by burning or shredding is preferable. Because the Environmental Protection Agency does not permit the burning of radiographs, we recommend shredding them. Whether you destroy them yourself or hire a company, keep a log of which records are destroyed, and when. This practice will assist you in identifying which records are unavailable in the event they are requested later.

When searching for a company to dispose of records, look for companies listed as specializing in legal or law records disposal. This may yield a wider range of options than simply looking under dental or medical records disposal.

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The suggestions provided represent experience and opinions of TDIC. There are no guarantees that any particular idea or suggestion will work in every situation. The ideas and suggestions contained in this document are not legal opinion and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. For legal advice specific to your practice, you must consult an attorney. 

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