42 CFR § 485.60 - Condition of participation: Clinical records.

§ 485.60 Condition of participation: Clinical records.

The facility must maintain clinical records on all patients in accordance with accepted professional standards and practice. The clinical records must be completely, promptly, and accurately documented, readily accessible, and systematically organized to facilitate retrieval and compilation of information.

(a) Standard: Content. Each clinical record must contain sufficient information to identify the patient clearly and to justify the diagnosis and treatment. Entries in the clinical record must be made as frequently as is necessary to insure effective treatment and must be signed by personnel providing services. All entries made by assistant level personnel must be countersigned by the corresponding professional. Documentation on each patient must be consolidated into one clinical record that must contain -

(1) The initial assessment and subsequent reassessments of the patient's needs;

(2) Current plan of treatment;

(3) Identification data and consent or authorization forms;

(4) Pertinent medical history, past and present;

(5) A report of pertinent physical examinations if any;

(6) Progress notes or other documentation that reflect patient reaction to treatment, tests, or injury, or the need to change the established plan of treatment; and

(7) Upon discharge, a discharge summary including patient status relative to goal achievement, prognosis, and future treatment considerations.

(b) Standard: Protection of clinical record information. The facility must safeguard clinical record information against loss, destruction, or unauthorized use. The facility must have procedures that govern the use and removal of records and the conditions for release of information. The facility must obtain the patient's written consent before releasing information not required to be released by law.

(c) Standard: Retention and preservation. The facility must retain clinical record information for 5 years after patient discharge and must make provision for the maintenance of such records in the event that it is no longer able to treat patients.