Think Before You Shred

Last year I shredded all paper records more than 10 years old. I had already shredded all the old records from when I practiced in a different state. As I prepare to shred 2004 records I wish I had done things a little differently.

I recognized the very unusual name of a prospective new patient, but could not locate a record. I try to maintain a strict policy of not treating a person I have examined as a forensic subject. It never occurred to me that I might not recall the identity of such a person. From now on I will keep a list of forensic examinees whose records I shred. In the past, too, I examined substantial numbers of subjects at “panels.” I did not keep any records of those examinations. Ideally I would have kept a list of their names at least.

I also do not want certain patients who departed under negative circumstances back in my practice, but that means I must have a way to identify them. That’s right: another list.

Can you think of any other categories of patient whose names you might want to keep track of for future reference?

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