Important Compliance Regulations
Possible Risks Associated With Text Messaging
Sending medical orders via text may violate HIPAA if the system is not able to restrict access and protect its integrity or prevent unauthorized access to Protected Health Information. The majority of the text messaging systems do not include measures like encrypting, receiver/sender authentication and they are stored in insecure servers. If a phone is lost or stolen and its password is decoded or the text is accidentally forwarded to a wrong contact, PHI will be exposed.
There is no system or mechanism to store the original message in order to validate what must be transcribed into the medical record. Text messaging is a conversation and it is difficult to transcribe.
Order Completeness and Clarity
No Clinical Decision Support
Medical orders which are sent through text message can bypass the clinical decision support and alerts given by computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) systems. These can often take into consideration the patient’s current medical conditions, medications, age, allergies, weight, and other details. Many CPOE systems also offer prompts to prevent incomplete orders from being entered.
Transcription Errors: texted orders have to be transcribed manually by pharmacists or nurses into a patient’s electronic medical record which can increase the risk of errors. Also, any delay in order transcription can result in a delay in patient care.
Hucu.ai eliminates all risks of HIPAA violations.
Best Practices to Consider When Using Text Messages for ePHI
A professional healthcare provider or an organization can consider the following best practices to have in place before allowing text messages to be received or sent.
Ensuring the Security of Mobile Devices
Establishing Texting Policies
Apart from encryption protocols, it is also important to set guidelines for the type of healthcare information that can be shared through a secure text message, who can send and receive the text, and which mobile devices may be used.
Educating the Staff about Your Texting Policies
Using a Third-Party HIPAA Compliant Secure Texting Solution
Communicate Policy to Patients
Require Authentication and Authorization for Accessing Messages
Hucu.ai is free text messaging HIPAA compliant app
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