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May 2016-The Healthcare World Shifted on Its Axis and Almost No One Noticed…Yet

· Kim Tucker,
Ok, so maybe that is a slight exaggeration but The Joint Commission reversing its 2011 position statement on sending patient care orders via secured texting signaled a huge change in the use of smartphones in providing patient care. Notice there are conditions that must be met including a secure text messaging platform and all required components of an order must be included in the text – now that’s a lot of information to text.

There are additional requirements that are going to require thought and planning on the part of the organization. The TJC position statement requires “specified contact list for individuals authorized to receive and record orders.” Who will be able to receive texted orders in your organization? RNs? All of them or designated ones? Most RNs don’t have employer-issued smartphones with the required secure messaging, so how is this going to be handled?

Policy and procedure updating is going to be critical and should be based on solid understanding of the ordering workflow and all its permeations. Do all suppliers of securing texting applications have this level of expertise? I think not.

How about the ability to provide audit trails and analytics specifically around texts with orders? And then there is the big question – will these orders flow into EMR or have to be manually entered? Will texted orders allow providers to “avoid” any alerts/warnings/stops in the ordering process that are currently built into the EMR? Are we going to treat texted orders similar to verbal orders for the foreseeable future? So many questions that are going to need answers…

Maybe the healthcare world did shift a bit – what do you think?

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