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Joint Commission Clarifies Stance on Texting Patient Orders


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In early January, The Joint Commission further clarified its position on the texting of patient orders between healthcare staff and rescinded approval to transmit patient orders through text messaging.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) expressed concern over security issues that might arise from using text messages to transmit patient information. The Joint Commission in conjunction with CMS stated that:
 

  • Healthcare facilities should not allow their employees to text patient medical information.   
  • Computer provider order entry (CPOE) is the recommended method for healthcare employees to enter orders into the patient’s electronic medical record.
  • Verbal orders may be given only occasionally and when there is no access to CPOE.


In addition to potential security issues, The Joint Commission changed their stance to avoid increasing nurses’ workload as they would be responsible for transcribing the texted patient orders into the electronic health record.

See the full clarification at www.jointcommission.org.