Practice Information

Clarifying Information for Nurse Practitioners and Collaborating Physicians About Patient Records Review

Nurse practitioners sometimes request information about the number of patient records that must be reviewed by their collaborating physicians. The New York State Education Department is pleased to provide you with information to help clarify this issue.

Patient records must be reviewed by a nurse practitioner's collaborating physician according to Section 6902(3)(c) of Education Law, which states that:

Each practice agreement [between a nurse practitioner and physician] shall provide for patient records review by the collaborating physician in a timely fashion but in no event less often than every three months.

The law does not provide specific ratios or numbers of charts that must be reviewed by the collaborating physician. That decision is left to the professional judgment of the nurse practitioner and the collaborating physician and might vary depending on the:

  • nurse practitioner's experience,
  • collaborating physician's knowledge of the nurse practitioner's abilities and judgment,
  • specialty,
  • patient mix,
  • nature of the practice setting, and,
  • other factors.

It is important that the nurse practitioner and the physician determine the terms of the collaboration on the matter of patient records review through negotiation and agreement. The appropriateness of the process of patient record review might be considered in professional discipline, malpractice litigation, or in institutional internal reviews, as for example in an Article 28 facility.

If you have additional questions, please contact Barbara Zittel, Executive Secretary to the State Board for Nursing, by mail: Education Department Building, 89 Washington Ave., Nursing Board Office, Second Floor, West Wing, Albany, NY 12234, e-mail:, phone: 518-474-3817 Ext. 120, or fax: 518-474-3706.

Last Updated: January 31, 2013