The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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City Hospital and Other Health Records

Reference Number: MTAS-479
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: September 15, 2017
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Special rules apply to medical records. They generally are governed by T.C.A. §§ 68-11-301 et seq. The definition of “hospital” used in these provisions is broad enough to include city hospitals and health departments. [1]  Certain hospital records are not public records. [2]  Generally, the law requires that a hospital or health department is required to retain and preserve records that relate directly to the care and treatment of a patient for 10 years following the discharge of the patient or the patient’s death during the period of treatment within the hospital. [3]

Mental health records are treated differently. Hospitals and health departments are given the option of retaining records for a longer period if they wish. [4]

[1] T.C.A. § 66-11-302.

[2] T.C.A. § 68-11-304.

[3] T.C.A. § 68-11-305.

[4] T.C.A. § 68-11-307.

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