Ask the Expert

HIPAA regulations concerning archived e-mail

Are there provisions contained within HIPAA regarding the retention/archiving of e-mail communications?

    Requires Free Membership to View

HIPAA doesn't specifically mention the retention of e-mails, however there is a six-year retention rule for security and privacy policies, procedures, documentation of complaints, etc. The purpose of this requirement is to help with follow up reference, complaint investigations, etc. There's certainly a lot of room for interpretation, but the bottom line is there's always a possibility that e-mail communications that come under review by HHS could be included in this requirement. Obviously, keeping a record of all e-mails is not going to be a simple task both from a procedural and technical perspective, but it could be in your organization's best interest. Having said all this, and graying the situation even more, this will ultimately have to be a business decision made by your upper management and legal counsel.


For more information on this topic, visit these other resources on SearchSecurity.com:
  • Ask the Expert: Encrypting e-mail and what is considered confidential under HIPAA
  • Ask the Expert: Securing e-mail under HIPAA
  • Featured Topic: HIPAA update

  • This was first published in June 2003

    There are Comments. Add yours.

     
    TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

    REGISTER or login:

    Forgot Password?
    By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
    Sort by: OldestNewest

    Forgot Password?

    No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

    Your password has been sent to: