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Andrea Hackathorn

Intro to HIT

Module 6, Assignment 4

October 2, 2017

Real-World Case 8.2

1. What is your opinion of California Senate Bill 1415? Do you think patients should be made aware

of an organization's record retention period, although this has not been industry practice? Why

or why not?

I think California Senate Bill 1415 is a good idea and other states should adopt similar legislature.

If we are shifting as a society to provide better care by focusing on the continuum of care and

accuracy of records, we must consider retention periods. If we are to encourage patients to be

informed and active in maintaining their own records for their benefit, they must also be

informed when their records will be destroyed. When records are destroyed before a patients

life is over, it could potentially affect their medical record and quality of care later on in life. For

example, if a child has surgery at a very young age and hardware is put in place, they may not

remember the procedure. If the record is destroyed after so many years, and the patient goes

for imaging later in life not remembering the procedure, there could be consequences of that

hardware affecting the images taken or it could jeopardize the safety of a patient.

2. A patient requested a copy of their health record and learned that it has been destroyed. The

patient complains to the state health department because they were not notified that their

record would be destroyed. What response would you expect from the state health

department?
I would expect the state health department to inform that patient that the organization did

nothing wrong assuming that they followed the appropriate guidelines in destroying the

records. The exception would be if the patients records was in California because that state has

a law requiring the patient be notified.

3. Do you believe healthcare facilities should destroy health records? Justify your choice?

I think the logistics of keeping paper records created a justification for organizations to destroy

records after a certain time period. Once EHRs are fully implemented, I feel that there will no

longer be as great of a need to destroy health records. Information can be stored in a much

smaller space and will be easier to maintain. There could be many benefits in keeping records

for the endurance of a patients life, and I feel we should not destroy them. One reason is to

provide better care for the patient. This process could also be especially beneficial in

researching certain conditions and diseases. An example that comes to my mind of this is the

study of skeletal dysplasias. There are many skeletal dysplasias that are considered unclassified.

If we destroy records of children after a certain time and more is discovered about their disease

later in life, we could miss very important information that would help us diagnose patients

sooner in life. This topic is something near to my heart because three of my children have a

skeletal dysplasia. There were slight changes on their ultrasounds during my pregnancy that

were dismissed. For a while, their case was condition was considered unclassified. Now, several

years later, a gene has been discovered and the condition is no longer unclassified. I have

submitted a fetal MRI and other imaging from various time periods of their life to the

International Skeletal Dysplasia Registry (ISDR). My hope is that by providing those images to

researchers, someone else might have an easier (and less expensive) diagnosing process so they

can move on to treating their illness faster.