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Records Life Cycle: Definition & Stages

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  • 0:03 The Cycle of Records
  • 0:31 Stage 1: Creation
  • 1:35 Stage 2: Maintenance & Use
  • 2:25 Stage 3: Final Disposition
  • 3:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: LeRon Haire
This lesson will introduce the records life cycle. We'll also go into detail about the three stages of the records life cycle: creation, maintenance, and final disposition.

The Cycle of Records

What do products, plants, and records have in common? They all have a life cycle!

You may already be familiar with a product life cycle or a plant life cycle, but I bet you didn't know that records have a life cycle too. The records life cycle describes the different stages records follow during their lifespan. Let's take a look at each of those three stages: creation, maintenance, and final disposition.

Stage One: Creation

Let's say that you are slated to visit a dentist's office for the first time next week. Before you arrive, the people in the office must do their due diligence by making sure they have everything in order for you. To begin, they must create a record for you. This is representative of stage one of the records life cycle, also known as the creation stage. This stage typically consists of initial documents being placed into a physical file folder. These documents may include things such as insurance paperwork, personal demographic information like name and address, and, eventually, results from the actual dental appointment.

The creation stage of the life cycle is very important because it sets the foundation for the lifespan of the records life cycle. For example, let's assume that you become a patient of this dentist for the next 20 years. It's extremely important that your records are properly created during stage one of the records life cycle because any erroneous information may cause problems in the future, like you overpaying for services because they had the incorrect insurance information.

Stage Two: Maintenance and Use

If the creation stage is the most important stage of the records life cycle, the maintenance stage is the one which takes the most work. The maintenance stage is when your records must continuously be modified and moved if necessary. This can become a daunting task depending on how long your records are in existence.

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