The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a statement clarifying its stance on texting patient information—specifically, messages sent between clinicians. As long as members of the patient’s healthcare team are texting the patient’s information via a secure texting platform, texting is permissible. However, texting of patient orders is prohibited regardless of platform used.
CMS regulations require the maintenance of a patient’s medical records and procedures that ensure confidentiality of such records. In addition, healthcare providers must “utilize and maintain systems/platforms that are secure, encrypted, and minimize the risks to patient privacy and confidentiality as per HIPAA regulations.”
Providers/organizations are expected to implement procedures/processes that “routinely assess the security and integrity of the texting systems/platforms that are being utilized, in order to avoid negative outcomes that could compromise the care of patients.”