HealthDay News – The legal issues surrounding healthcare practitioners engaging in text message communications with patients needs to be considered, according to an article in Medical Economics.
“Many physicians who text message do not take into account that the information they send and receive should probably be included in their medical records,” wrote Barry B. Cepelewicz, MD, JD, “nor do they consider the possibility that the protected health information in their text messages is not being accorded the necessary privacy and security protection.”
The Joint Commission has ruled that it is not acceptable for health-care practitioners to text orders for patients to any heath-care setting, because of security risks. Although the Joint Commission only addresses text messaging in regards to patient orders, Cepelwicz urges further discussion of policies, especially for those practicing in a primary-care setting.
“Text messaging is a very useful tool and one that your patients may increasingly expect you to use,” concluded Cepelewicz. “If you choose to do so, you must consider the various risks and take appropriate measures to address them.”
- Cepelwicz B. (May 2014). “Text messaging with patients: Steps physicians must take to avoid liability.” Medical Economics. Retrieved from: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/text-messaging-patients-steps-physicians-must-take-avoid-liability?page=0,1