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Medical records: Do’s and don’ts

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in Employment Law,Human Resources,Office Management,Records Retention

Medical records are among the most sensitive documents employers maintain in personnel files. They must be afforded the utmost protection, so no transgressions arise regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and other similar medically-sensitive federal and state regulations.


1. How long must employers preserve and maintain each employee's medical records?

Not everyone realizes this, but OSHA regulations require that general medical records be maintained for an employee's length of employment plus 30 years.

Specifically, OSHA regs define the term "medical records" as "…a record concerning the health status of an employee which is made or maintained by a physician, nurse, or other health care personnel or technician," including medical and employment questionnaires and histories (including...(register to read more)

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel August 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I understand that I have to file the medical records separately from personnel file but could I consolidate the medical records into one folder and divide them with dividers or do I have to make a separate file for each employee. So many regulations…will be the end of me…


CHristine February 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Is it ok to scann an employee medical records and the employee application for medical coverage?


Harry February 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Is a HR employee legally able to enter data relating to employee health records?


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