2020 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 14 - Records, Rules, Legal Notices, Oaths
Article 6 - Health and Hospital Records
Section 14-6-2 - Hospital records; retention.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 14-6-2 (2020)

A. Unless provided otherwise in this section, a hospital shall retain and preserve all records directly relating to the care and treatment of a patient for a period of ten years following the last discharge of the patient. Retention and preservation of such records in microfilm or other photographically reproduced form shall be deemed compliance with this subsection and such reproduced and retained copies shall be deemed originals for the purposes of the rules of evidence promulgated by the supreme court of New Mexico.

B. Laboratory test records and reports may be destroyed one year after the date of the test recorded or reported therein provided that one copy is placed in the patient's record. If a copy of the laboratory test records and reports is not placed in the patient's record, they may not be destroyed for a period of four years from the date of the test recorded or reported.

C. X-ray films may be destroyed four years after the date of exposure, if there are in the hospital record written findings of a radiologist who has read such x-ray films. At any time after the third year after the date of exposure, and upon proper identification, the patient may recover his own x-ray films as may be retained pursuant to this section. Such written radiological findings shall be retained as provided in Subsection A of this section.

D. At any time after the retention periods specified in Subsections A, B and C of this section, the hospital may, without thereby incurring liability, destroy such records, by burning, shredding or other effective method in keeping with the confidential nature of their contents; provided, however, that destruction of such records must be in the ordinary course of business and no record shall be destroyed on an individual basis.

E. For the purposes of this section, "hospital" means an institution for the reception and care of the ill or infirm which is licensed by the health and social services department [department of health].

History: 1953 Comp., § 12-34-24, enacted by Laws 1977, ch. 371, § 1.


Bracketed material. — The bracketed material was inserted by the compiler and is not part of the law.

Laws 1977, ch. 253, § 5, abolished the health and social services department, and Laws 1977, ch. 253, § 4, established the health and environment department under former 9-7-4 NMSA 1978. Laws 1991, ch. 25, § 16 repealed former 9-7-4 NMSA 1978 and enacted a new 9-7-4 NMSA 1978, which created the department of health.

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — Medical malpractice: presumption or inference from failure of hospital or doctor to produce relevant medical records, 69 A.L.R.4th 906.

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