Special rules apply to medical records. They generally are governed by T.C.A. §§ 68-11-301 et seq. The definition of “hospital” used in these provisions is broad enough to include city hospitals and health departments.  Certain hospital records are not public records.  Generally, the law requires that a hospital or health department is required to retain and preserve records that relate directly to the care and treatment of a patient for 10 years following the discharge of the patient or the patient’s death during the period of treatment within the hospital. 
Mental health records are treated differently. Hospitals and health departments are given the option of retaining records for a longer period if they wish. 
 T.C.A. § 66-11-302.
 T.C.A. § 68-11-304.
 T.C.A. § 68-11-305.
 T.C.A. § 68-11-307.