Joint Commission keeping clinician texting ban in place until September

After reversing a five-year-old ban on healthcare organizations sending orders via text in May, the Joint Commission has changed plans again, announcing in its June newsletter the previous ban won’t be lifted until September.

The commission said extra guidance is needed to “ensure a safe implementation involving the secure texting of orders” for organizations interested in using that kind of system.

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will collaborate with the Joint Commission on the development of additional guidance for text orders to ensure congruency with the Medicare Conditions of Participation,” the commission said. “The Joint Commission and CMS will develop a comprehensive series of frequently asked questions (FAQ) documents to assist healthcare organizations with the incorporation of text orders into their policies and procedures.”

The May update had included several suggestions for setting up a secure texting platform, such as a secure sign-on process and limiting who can receive and record the orders, but the commission had also said more detailed standards would have to be developed.