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CMS Reaffirms Prohibition on Text Orders

Posted in Electronic Health Records, HIPAA and the HITECH Act, Hospitals and Institutions, Medicare and Medicaid

In a December 28 memorandum, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reiterated its position (previously discussed here) that texting of orders is prohibited under the existing hospital conditions of participation, but clarified that texting other patient-related information in a secure format is permissible.CMS noted that in addition to the need to comply with HIPAA requirements, “It is expected that providers/organizations will 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 would compromise the care of patients.” CMS also stressed that computerized provider order entry is the preferred method for order documentation.

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