When I think about secure texting, I think about patient lives
(Editor’s Note: This blog originally appeared on the Vocera Communications’ newly launched Vocera View blog, which focuses on stories about how to make life better for patients and care teams.)
Earlier this year, The Joint Commission announced a plan to lift its ban on secure texting of physician orders. Then over the summer, Commission leaders decided to delay lifting the ban in order to collaborate with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to further strengthen the guidance and ensure alignment with the Medicare Conditions of Participation. They said at that time that they hoped to release the updated guidance later this month (September 2016).
I considered some of the language from the announcement that explained the reasoning for the delay: “to ensure a safe implementation involving the secure texting of orders for those organizations desiring to employ technology supporting this practice.” It struck me that while The Joint Commission seems to be talking about a secure texting problem, what they are really talking about is something more important: The need to make sure each order is received, followed, and recorded in an appropriate manner.
This brought to mind a story I recently heard.