5 years after their initial 2011 opinion that the texting of orders had no place in hospitals or healthcare, the Joint Commission issued a revised ruling this week that finally addressed the growing adoption of smartphones and mobile devices in the healthcare workforce.
According to the Joint Commission Update on Texting Orders, physician texting of orders is now permitted, with a few important caveats that make it clear regular SMS texting just won’t cut it:
Secure sign-on process: the secure messaging application must enable a secure, password or pin-protected sign on function.
Encrypted messaging: SMS texts and consumer-grade chat applications don’t employ encryption standards. For texted orders to remain compliant, messages must be encrypted both in transit (while they’re being sent) and at rest (on the device itself).
Delivery and read receipts: senders must be able to verify both that a message has been delivered to the appropriate party, and read.
Date and time stamp: texted orders must be stamped with the date and time they were both sent and received.
Customized message retention time frames: the messaging solution must be configurable to determine how long messages should be retained on the device, and when they should be archived.
Specified contact list for individuals authorized to receive and record orders: the messaging solution must allow to specify whether individuals are authorized to receive or record orders at the user level.
EMR integration: the hospital’s policies and procedures must clarify whether texted orders are being automatically synced to the EMR via an integration, or whether texted orders will be entered manually.
Order templates: 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. By utilizing ordering templates and message types, it’s ensured that no critical information is missed or ignored.
It’s your lucky day: it turns out that there’s already a solution on the market that provides all of these features out of the box to help make your hospital or healthcare organization compliant with order texting regulations. You may, in fact, be reading their blog right now. If you’d like to see a demo of how Telmediq can help hospitals adhere to the new Joint Commission standards on order texting, simply fill out this form and we’ll be happy to walk you through it.
Do you think the revised ruling is enough, or too much? How do you feel it impacts order entry in healthcare today? Let us know in the comments below!