A woman in scrubs reviewing patient files in their record archives.

Planning for Retirement? Here are Some Tips on Record Retention

February 2024

When planning to retire from the profession, it’s important to think about your responsibilities when it comes to record retention. Our Practice Specialist frequently receives questions on this topic. Below, we answered your top four questions.

What are my record retention responsibilities when I’m planning to retire from Massage Therapy?

You need to ensure that health records will continue to be stored securely and confidentially by a health information custodian (HIC) for the remainder of the mandatory storage period. The mandatory storage period is 10 years after the date of the client’s last visit, or 10 years after the client’s 18th birthday if they were less than 18 years of age on the date of their last visit.

Do I have to retain custody of the records after I retire?

You can choose to continue holding custody for the remainder of the mandatory storage period, or you can transfer custody to another individual who is eligible to be a health information custodian (HIC). More information about eligibility criteria is available on the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario’s website.

If you choose to transfer custody, clients must be notified of the new custodian’s contact information and given the opportunity to provide consent for the new custodian to access and use the information in the records.

What do I do with records after the mandatory storage period has passed?

Once the mandatory storage period has passed, health records must be destroyed/disposed of securely and confidentially. The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario’s Fact Sheet provides guidance about the secure destruction/disposal of personal information.

Can I sell the health records if I am selling my practice?

No. The personal and health information within records belongs to clients and can only be shared for the purpose of receiving safe and effective care. For this reason, records containing clients’ personal and health information cannot be sold as an asset of your practice.

Do you have other questions about retirement and record retention? Don’t hesitate to reach out to CMTO’s Practice Specialist at practicespecialist@cmto.com. For more information on record keeping, please see CMTO’s Guide to Record Keeping Requirements.

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