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Texting - Use of Secure Text Messaging for Patient Information

Can secure text messaging be used to communicate patient information ?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

Yes. Healthcare providers may text patient information (except for patient care orders) as long as a secure text messaging platform is used.  Several text messaging platform specifications and recommendations for texting policies and procedures are included in The Joint Commission’s May 2016 Perspectives article.

Key features of secure text messaging platforms include:
  • Secure sign-on process
  • Encrypted messaging
  • Delivery and read receipts
  • Date and time stamp
  • Customized message retention time frames

Organizations are also advised to do the following:
  • Develop an attestation documenting the capabilities of their secure text messaging platform
  • Assess compliance with texting policies and procedures
  • Develop a risk-management strategy and perform a risk assessment
  • Conduct training for staff, licensed independent practitioners, and other practitioners on applicable policies and procedures
Last updated on March 16, 2021
Manual: Critical Access Hospital
Chapter: Leadership LD

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