Doctors and nurses can now send electronic messages to each other with the blessing of The Joint Commission, a highly respected organization that accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.
In its May 2016 Perspectives newsletter, the Commission announced that “licensed independent practitioners or other practitioners in accordance with professional standards of practice, law and regulation and policies and procedures may text orders as long as a secure text messaging platform is used and the required components of an order are included.”
This is a big breakthrough for NetSfere, an Infinite Convergence offering that gives healthcare organizations the ability to send secure messages that are fully compliant with HIPAA requirements.
Just five years ago, The Commission was appropriately skeptical of healthcare messaging solutions, writing that “It is not acceptable for physicians or licensed independent practitioners to text orders for patients to the hospital or other healthcare setting.”
That was the right decision in 2011 when doctors and nurses had no better options than unsecure personal messaging apps.
Indeed, prior to the introduction of NetSfere and the maturation of secure messaging platforms, The Commission was concerned about healthcare practitioners using their personal mobile devices to send unsecure text messages between providers. The Commission also questioned user identity authentication — the ability to confirm who actually sent a message — and message retention — the ability to keep a message to have it be permanently entered into a patient’s medical record.
Any healthcare provider that was on the fence regarding purchasing a modern, secure and scalable messaging solution can now move forward confidently.
With the right solution in place, clinicians can safely and securely communicate with their colleagues to coordinate care and improve patient outcomes.
NetSfere meets all the requirements imposed by The Commission: a secure sign-on process; encrypted messaging; delivery and read receipts; date and time stamp; customized message retention time frames; and a specified contact list for individuals authorized to receive and record orders.
Beyond these requirements, there are a number of other specific issues and requirements faced by many healthcare organizations that NetSfere can accommodate.
This is a great day for healthcare. Doctors and nurses have long seen messaging as enabling a better way to work and communicate.
Now, they can enjoy the many benefits of enterprise messaging and do so in full compliance with the latest guidance from the Joint Commission.
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