After months of deliberating (six, to be exact), The Joint Commission (TJC) and U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued final guidance regarding secure texting options for provider order entry. While the statement was not what we were hoping for, it is what we were expecting; TJC and CMS have jointly banned secure texting of medical orders. Is this synonymous with banning mobile order entry? Certainly not.
We think the most important thing is to NOT overreact to this latest notice. In reality, nothing has changed and the position of TJC is the same as it was prior to May 5, 2016. Texting of unsecured PHI remains prohibited. Order entry is still optimally performed within the host electronic health record (EHR). And nurses, physicians, and/or physician extenders will continue to occasionally use indirect methods of ordering (such as verbally and by telephone). Indirectly managed orders remain an important part of patient care despite the complexity of how those orders make it into the EHR.
Hospitals will continue to determine specific policies regarding definition and clinical practice of telephone and/or verbal orders. Whether an order is taken verbally or by telephone, or placed as an order entry, the use of Vocera communications technology will lead the process in overall effective communication.
Of Core Importance: Safe Care Team Communication
For at least a decade, the TJC has said that creating a safe and effective environment for caregivers to easily communicate with each other is of core importance to patient safety. To provide the highest quality patient care, all methods of communication must be safe, effective, and available.
This is where leading hospitals continue to rely on Vocera. We provide the best and most robust platform to seamlessly initiate a voice or text conversation on a device of choice – without having to delay care delivery by looking up numbers or waiting for contact information. Our platform enables seamless verbal communication, patient-centric secure texting, and contextually-aware alarms routed intelligently to the designated provider.
More Accurate Communication for Better Patient Outcomes
With a Vocera solution, hospitals can unify voice, text, and alarm notification on one platform, and leverage reporting tools within the platform to better understand their communication patterns, identify issues, and generate data they can use to minimize alarm and interruption fatigue.
Vocera works with each organization within a hospital or healthcare system to understand their unique needs. We design communication solutions suited for specific hospital roles to help care providers work more efficiently.
The Joint Commission continually identifies communication among the top three causes of sentinel events. Look to Vocera for more accurate communication, faster response time, better adoption across care teams, and better patient outcomes.