53% said a policy prohibited using text messages for patient orders. The CMS seemed to be opposing all types of text messaging, even if a large percentage of hospitals have been using secure text messaging platforms instead of their obsolete pagers for some time. The Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) publicized the article, Report on Medicare Compliance, questioning the CMS position. The CMS agrees to the fact that text messages are an essential method of communication in healthcare. The CMS position is therefore in line with that of the Joint Commission. Thus, the decision was taken to prohibit texting in healthcare. By using acronyms and abbreviations in your text messages, you can save characters and type your messages even faster. There was the possibility of inadequate access controls on the devices of senders and receivers, stored information might not be secure nor encrypted, and patient privacy is not assured. Texting orders from a healthcare provider to a care team member does not comply with the Conditions of Participation (CoPs) or Conditions for Coverage (CfCs), particularly stating §489.24(b) and §489.24(c). Text Messaging Slang. Secure text messaging platforms may be utilized in healthcare, except for texting orders. Nearly everyone has a mobile phone these days, so text messaging has become one of the most common mediums for using chat slang. The CMS stated that ordering via CPOE, with an instant download into the provider’s electronic health records (EHR), is allowed since the order is dated, timed, authenticated, and immediately put in the medical record. What does CMS stand for in Texting? Those platforms should use encryption for messages in transit and healthcare companies should evaluate and reduce the dangers to PHI confidentiality, integrity, and availability as demanded by HIPAA. There was a time that the Joint Commission relaxed its restriction on using text messages in healthcare, particularly in sending patient orders, but later the ban was reinstated. Text messages are vital for efficient communication between healthcare team members. Nevertheless, the prohibition on using text messages for delivering orders still holds. December 19, 2018HIPAA guideHIPAA Articles0. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has confirmed to healthcare providers that using text messages in healthcare is forbidden because of issues relating to security and patient privacy. On December 28, 2017, the CMS issued a memorandum making clear its position on using text messages in healthcare, saying that it is not totally banned. Nonetheless, so as to comply with the CoPs and CfCs, healthcare companies need to utilize secure text messaging systems or platforms. Despite the Joint Commission ban, 12% said texting was allowed for patient orders – 8% said that it was allowed only when using a secure platform and 3% said text messages were allowed in any situation. The CMS also mentioned that providers/organizations should implement processes that regularly evaluate the security and integrity of the texting systems/platforms so as to prevent negative results that could undermine the care of patients. 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