New Delhi: All the doctors will have to maintain the medical records of patients for three years from the last date of treatment, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has stated in the recently published Draft Registered Medical Practitioners (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 2022.
Mentioning it to be one of the prime responsibilities of the Registered Medical practitioners, the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) of NMC has also listed down the other duties of the doctors. Such duties include making the medical records available on request, digitization of the records, providing honest certificates, reports and other documents etc.
Any violation of these rules may cost the medical practitioners a suspension of practice for a period ranging from one month to a maximum period of three months.
The Draft in its Guideline 8 has also included a format for maintaining medical record of the patients. As per the format given by NMC, the doctors should ensure keeping the details including the name of the patient, age, sex, address, occupation, Date of last visit, Clinical note (summary) of the case, Prov, Diagnosis, Investigations advised with reports, Advice, Follow up, Date Observations, Signature in full and finally the Name of Treating Physician.
Medical Dialogues had recently reported that in an attempt to address the various issues of professional conduct of registered medical practitioners, the Ethics & Medical Registration Board (EMRB) of NMC has introduced the Draft RMP (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 2022. These new regulations have addressed the issue of Professional Conduct of Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs) including their duties and responsibilities, continuing professional development program, remuneration, prescribing generic medicine, prohibition of commission, restriction on advertisement, responsibilities regarding sale of drugs, medical reports, etc.
The Professional Conduct of the registered medical practitioners have specified in the Chapter 2 of the Draft Regulations. Listing down the Responsibility of the RMPs regarding the Medical Records, the Section 13 of the Draft read as follows:
Responsibility of RMP regarding the Medical Records:
inpatients) for 3 years from the date of the last contact with the patient for treatment, in a
standard proforma laid down by the NMC. (Guideline) (L2)
hospital or healthcare institution either by the patients / authorized attendant or legal
authorities involved, the same may be duly acknowledged and documents shall be
supplied within 5 working days. (L2)
same day. (L2)
fully digitize records, abiding by the provisions of the IT Act, Data protection and privacy
laws, or any other applicable laws, rules, and regulations notified from time to time for
protecting the privacy of patient data. (L1, L2)
to give certificates, notifications, reports, and other documents of similar character, signed
by them in their professional capacity for subsequent use in the courts or administrative or
other purposes. Such reports, certificates, or documents should not be untrue, misleading,
or improper. A self-employed RMP shall maintain a Register giving full details of such
certificates issued by him/her. (L3).”
These Regulations have graded the disciplinary actions at five levels. As per the Regulations Level 2 penalty may be awarded even when the role of the doctor in causing direct harm
was not conclusively proved but the doctor was found to have breached any of the codes listed
In this case, “The maximum action is a suspension of the license to practice for up to one month
Level 3 penalty may be awarded when the role of the doctor in causing direct harm was
conclusively proved and the doctor was found to have breached relevant regulation.
“This maximum action is a suspension of the license to practice for a maximum period of three
months. Holding suspension can be given in this level as per regulations,” read the guidelines.