To text or not to text? CMS issues guidance



Over the last few years, health care providers have watched with interest as The Joint Commission wrestled with its stance on texting patient information. Although The Joint Commission indicated that its most recent guidance was developed in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), health care providers should be aware that CMS recently issued its own guidance to clarify its position on texting patient information. The December 28, 2017, CMS memo states:

  • Texting of patient orders is prohibited regardless of the platform utilized.

  • Texting patient information among members of the health care team is permissible if accomplished through a secure platform.

  • Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) is the preferred method of order entry by a provider. 

We recommend that hospitals and other health care providers review their policies to ensure they are meeting the CMS guidance. 

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