The Joint Commission ends ban on secure texting of patient orders. Find out how to do it right.

The Joint Commission made a huge change recently when it announced that it has ended its long-time ban on clinician secure texting and messaging of patient orders. From a privacy standpoint, the ban made sense at a time when, “texting applications were unable to verify the identity of the person sending the text or to retain the original message as validation of the information entered into the medical record,” as the commission wrote. In addition, “the technology available could not provide the safety and security necessary to adequately support the use of text messaging for orders.” Kudos to the commission for recognizing that a number of secure texting applications have been developed since the ban was instituted in 2011. However, just because it’s now permissible to use texting and messaging as a way to transmit patient orders, clinicians must still adhere to specific guidelines, including:
  • A secure sign-on process
  • Encrypted messaging
  • Delivery and read receipts
  • Date and time stamp
  • Customized message retention time frames
  • A specified contact list for individuals authorized to receive and record orders.
Organizations allowing text orders are expected to comply with Medication Management (MM) Standard MM.04.01.01, which addresses the required elements of a complete medication order and actions to take when orders are incomplete or unclear. Our MicroBloggingMD app already meets all of these requirements—and many others. It allows providers to send secure text messages and subscribe to patient-specific clinical events. In addition, it provides access to patient lists with the ability to drill down into the patients EHR in a secure mobile environment. We’d like to help you understand what you need to consider moving forward with HIPAA-Compliant Enterprise Secure Messaging. Please contact us today to get started.

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