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It is common for the federal authorities to retain patient records for at least seven years. However, the current foundation of the healthcare system envisages for the record-keeping indefinitely. The use of digital systems allows help healthcare providers to respond to patient needs. Specifically, hospitals have built their capacities and now possess well-established IT systems that can process large volumes of patient data. Hence, such developments are particularly valid when boosting information management in the healthcare environment.
Currently, the US states define the timeframe for maintaining the healthcare records. In most cases, the records are kept no longer than for ten years. Such a condition makes it challenging for healthcare institutions to manage patients’ data especially to those who relocate from one state to state. In such cases, hospitals and staff do not have access to patients’ personal data and therefore are unable to assess the previous medication taken by patients. Consequently, the accuracy of the medical services provision decreases. For example, if a patient John traveled from Oregon to Colorado after seven years of maintaining their healthcare condition, hospital staff did not know what the patient suffered from and what would be appropriate to prescribe. Hospital staff had to assess potential allergies and responses to medication. Such a process may entail time implications that could be used for treating patients. This is why doctors would have to run physical examination tests for the patients, too. Such services may be costly for patients and may lead to unprecedented challenges. In case the healthcare records were maintained indefinitely, healthcare staff and patients would largely benefit from such developments. With the current perspectives for maintaining privacy and security settings and enforcing IT solutions in healthcare institutions, keeping the records indefinitely would constitute an effective response for patients and doctors, without imposing the rules on healthcare information by the states.