The International Organization for Standardization has published two documents that provide internationally harmonized guidelines for archiving patient information.

The technical specification document, ISO/TS 21547:2010, Health informatics-Security requirements for archiving of electronic health records-Principles, addresses a process covering records maintenance, retention, disclosure and eventual destruction.

Guidelines for implementing these principles are included in a technical report, ISO/TR21548:2010, Health informatics-Security requirements for archiving of electronic health records-Guidelines. In addition to guidelines, the report offers a practical method and tools for the development and management of eArchives.

The documents address electronic health integrity, ethical and legal concerns, privacy protection, and regulations covering access and disclosure of records. They also cover emerging trends, such as patients actively participating in their health care and the data that must be available to them.

More information is available at and

--Joseph Goedert


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