Message Not Received: Joint Commission Says Providers May Not Send Patient Orders via Text Message

January 13, 2017 | Aging Services Risk Management


​Clinicians may not use secure text messaging platforms to send patient or resident care orders, per the December 2016 issue of Joint Commission Perspectives. This is contrary to the May 2016 issue of Perspectives, in which Joint Commission said practitioners could use a secure platform as long as it met specific parameters (see the May 20, 2016, Issues in Continuing Care Risk Management). Upon further review, Joint Commission determined that, although many of its previous privacy and security issues had been resolved, certain concerns remained. One issue is that text messages increase the burden on nurses, who have to transcribe text orders into the electronic health record (EHR). Text messaging also adds unnecessary additional steps if clarification or confirmation of an order is needed. Joint Commission, in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), issued several recommendations.

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