Timely Entry in the Usual Course of Business
The requirement of the law that is most frequently not complied with is that the entry be made at or near the time of the act, event, or condition described. The courts allow reasonable delay, given the circumstances of the business. Most hospitals use the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations 30- day standard for completing the chart, with certain time- critical entries to be completed in 72 hours. (This does not mean that entries can be backdated. Progress notes and other daily memoranda must be made on the day to which they pertain.)
Although the courts would generally ignore this delay, it is certainly questionable whether 30 days is a reasonable delay. Since both plaintiffs and defendants usually want the record admitted to court, there has been little litigation on whether medical records actually meet the requirements of the business records exception.