A Special Message About Texting

From: Tammy S. Lundstrom, MD, JD, Premier Health Senior VP & System Chief Medical Officer and Sylvain Trepanier, DNP, RN, CENP Vice President & System Chief Nursing Officer

We have become increasingly concerned about the texting of medical orders, as it is an important issue that directly impacts the privacy of our patients. While we understand that texting is a convenient method of communication, using it to convey medical orders presents serious security risks for both you personally and for the organization. The Joint Commission has offered a position statement regarding texting of medical orders. The answer, simply stated, is that texting is not acceptable for orders. You can find the complete answer on the Joint Commission's websiteOff Site Icon.

Texting Cannot Be Used to Give or Receive Medical Orders

We do not currently have a policy supporting the use of “texting” to give and receive medical orders. Therefore, texting a medical order (via your regular phone or any other application such as MatchMD) and executing a medical order received via text is not acceptable at this time. At Premier Health, an order received via texting is not a verbal order, is not a telephone order and is not a written order that complies with Premier Health policies and procedures or The Joint Commission requirements. Anyone receiving a medical order by text needs to follow their chain of command to resolve the issue.

Texting Not Currently Approved --Texting Solution in Process

We are in the process of deploying a secure texting solution that will meet all of our regulatory agencies requirements as well as Premier Health policy and procedures and will advise you when that becomes available. At this time texting is not approved for communication of orders between our bedside nurses and our physicians or allied health professionals. Until we have an approved system that complies with external regulations and internal policies, texting of any medical orders must be discontinued immediately. Failure to comply will forwarded to human resources and/or the proper medical staff channels.

We need your support in following these standards as they are designed to protect your patients to better ensure their privacy and to protect you to avoid any lapse in providing privacy and any possible litigation. If you have any questions, please contact any of us.

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