(a) The laboratory must retain its records and, as applicable, slides, blocks, and tissues as follows:
(1) Test requisitions and authorizations. Retain records of test requisitions and test authorizations, including the patient's chart or medical record if used as the test requisition or authorization, for at least 2 years.
(2) Test procedures. Retain a copy of each test procedure for at least 2 years after a procedure has been discontinued. Each test procedure must include the dates of initial use and discontinuance.
(3) Analytic systems records. Retain quality control and patient test records (including instrument printouts, if applicable) and records documenting all analytic systems activities specified in §§ 493.1252 through 493.1289 for at least 2 years. In addition, retain the following:
(i) Records of test system performance specifications that the laboratory establishes or verifies under § 493.1253 for the period of time the laboratory uses the test system but no less than 2 years.
(4) Proficiency testing records. Retain all proficiency testing records for at least 2 years.
(5) Quality system assessment records. Retain all laboratory quality systems assessment records for at least 2 years.
(6) Test reports. Retain or be able to retrieve a copy of the original report (including final, preliminary, and corrected reports) at least 2 years after the date of reporting. In addition, retain the following:
(i) Immunohematology reports as specified in 21 CFR 606.160(d).
(ii) Pathology test reports for at least 10 years after the date of reporting.
(7) Slide, block, and tissue retention -
(A) Retain cytology slide preparations for at least 5 years from the date of examination (see § 493.1274(f) for proficiency testing exception).
(B) Retain histopathology slides for at least 10 years from the date of examination.
(ii) Blocks. Retain pathology specimen blocks for at least 2 years from the date of examination.
(iii) Tissue. Preserve remnants of tissue for pathology examination until a diagnosis is made on the specimen.
(b) If the laboratory ceases operation, the laboratory must make provisions to ensure that all records and, as applicable, slides, blocks, and tissue are retained and available for the time frames specified in this section.