The Joint Commission changes stance, allows providers to text patient care orders: 6 highlights

The Joint Commission is now permitting physicians to text patient care orders if the text meets specific criteria, according to Healthcare Dive.

Here are six highlights:

1. In 2011, The Joint Commission released a document forbidding physicians from texting patient care orders.

2. Physicians can now send texts to patients if their messaging platforms offer:
•    A secure sign-on process
•    Encrypted messaging
•    Delivery and read receipts
•    Date and time stamp
•    Customized message retention time frames

3. The platforms must also have a specific contacts list for those authorized to receive and record orders.

4. To comply with the set regulations, healthcare organizations will need to specify how providers will date, time, confirm and authenticate texted patient care orders.

5. Additionally, practices will need to document text message orders in the patient's medical record.

6. To prepare organizations to send patient orders, The Joint Commission advises practices to:
•    Create risk management strategy
•    Conduct a risk assessment
•    Evaluate compliance with policies and procedures for text messages
•    Monitor how often providers use text messaging patient orders
•    Document the secure messaging platform's capabilities
•    Create policies that determine when text orders are appropriate and inappropriate
•    Educate and train staff on policies and procedures covering secure text messaging platforms use

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