WSR 05-19-048



(Examining Board of Psychology)

[ Filed September 15, 2005, 11:19 a.m. , effective October 16, 2005 ]

Purpose: These rules create minimum standards for retention periods of client records and require psychologists to establish an office policy identifying how client records will be maintained in the event that the psychologist is no longer practicing.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 246-924-354 Maintenance and retention of records.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.83.050, 18.130.050.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 05-13-187 on June 22, 2005.

A final cost-benefit analysis is available by contacting Janice K. Boden, Program Manager, Department of Health, 301 Israel Road, Tumwater, WA 98501, phone (360) 236-4912, fax (360) 236-4909, e-mail

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: July 29, 2005.

Doug Uhl, Ph.D., Chair

Examining Board of Psychology


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 337B, filed 3/10/93, effective 4/10/93)

WAC 246-924-354   Maintenance and retention of records.   (1) ((The)) A psychologist ((rendering)) who renders professional services to a client or clients, or ((rendering)) renders services billed to a third party payor, shall document services except as provided in (g) of this subsection. ((That)) The documentation ((shall)) must include:

(a) The presenting problem(s), purpose, or diagnosis;

(b) The fee arrangement;

(c) The date and service provided;

(d) A copy of all tests and evaluative reports prepared;

(e) Notation and results of formal consults including information obtained from other persons or agencies through a release of information;

(f) Progress notes reflecting on-going treatment and current status; and

(g) If a client requests that no treatment records be kept and the psychologist agrees to the request, the client's request must be in writing and ((only)) retained with the following ((must be retained)) information:

(i) Identity of the recipient of the services;

(ii) Service dates and fees;

(iii) Description of services;

(iv) ((Written request that no records be kept.

(2))) The psychologist shall not agree to the request if maintaining records is required by other state or federal law.

(2) All records must be retained for at least eight years following the last professional contact with the client(s). In the case of minors under the age of eighteen, the records must be retained until the client reaches the age of twenty-two or for eight years, whichever is longer.

All records must be securely maintained with appropriate limited access in accordance with any other applicable state or federal laws.

(3) The psychologist rendering services must have a written policy to ensure the maintenance and confidentiality of the client records in the event of retirement, discontinuation of practice or employment, discontinuation of practice in the state of Washington, or inability to maintain practice or employment (e.g., illness or death of the psychologist).

This written policy must be made available to the board, upon written request, within sixty days. The written policy shall:

(a) Designate a qualified person(s) or, if appropriate, hospital, clinic or other health care facility, to make necessary clinically relevant referrals if the psychologist is unable to do so;

(b) Detail a plan for fulfilling record requests described under this subsection; and

(c) Require the subsequent record holder to maintain records in accordance with any other applicable state or federal laws or rules.

(4) In the case of psychological or neuropsychological evaluations, tests or assessments, the psychologist may exercise clinical judgment in determining whether or not to retain specific records beyond the minimum retention period specified in subsection (2) of this section.

(5) After the minimum records retention period is met for a client record, the psychologist may elect to dispose of the record. If the record is disposed of, it shall be done in a secure and confidential manner. Proper disposal means paper is shredded; electronic media is deleted, erased, or reformatted; and other readable forms of media is defaced or rendered unusable or unreadable.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.83.050(5) and chapter 18.83 RCW. 93-07-036 (Order 337B), 246-924-354, filed 3/10/93, effective 4/10/93.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office