Hold it, Doctor! Don’t Hit the Send Button!

The Joint Commission made a big splash when it issued its “Update: Texting Orders” back in the spring.  That Update rescinded the accrediting organization’s long-standing prohibition on sending physician orders via text messaging.  Practitioners were now free, the Update said, to send orders by text, subject to prescribed security measures.

But almost before the ink was dry on the Update, the organization announced, with somewhat less fanfare, a rescission of its earlier rescission—or at least a delay of the rescission.   The June 8 issue of Joint Commission Online announced that “additional guidance is required” and that The Joint Commission and CMS will collaborate to develop that additional guidance, with the hope of issuing it by late September, 2016.

So, if you’re a doctor about to text an order, don’t hit the send button.

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