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New guidelines from The Joint Commission clarify what clinicians are allowed to convey via text messages. Urgent care providers should especially be aware that clinicians are allowed to text each other using a HIPAA-compliant platform as long as they don’t do so to send patient care orders.  The new guidance, drawn up in consultation with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, also stipulates that all healthcare organizations should have policies prohibiting the use of unsecured text messaging; that computerized provider order entry (CPOE) should be the preferred method for submitting orders; and that a verbal order is acceptable in the event that a CPOE or written order cannot be submitted.

What You Can—and Can’t—Convey in a Text Message to Other Providers