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CLAIMS Rx DIRECTORY


RISK MANAGEMENT PUBLICATION

Is it Safe to Send That Text?

February 2022

When engaging in patient care and treatment, it is important to consistently weigh the risks and benefits of text messaging and determine whether it is appropriate under the circumstances. As the case studies in this article show, careless text messaging practices in the healthcare environment can contribute to patient injury and substantially complicate the defense of malpractice claims. While taking advantage of improvements in efficiency and patient safety that text messaging can bring, it is important to recognize and manage privacy, security, patient safety, and professional liability risks. Using the strategies in this article can reduce the risk of medical errors, malpractice lawsuits, and HIPAA/HITECH violations caused by texting.

RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
“Distracted Practice”

CASE ONE
Unprofessional Text Messages

CASE TWO
Deleted and Forgotten Text Messages Used to Impeach Testimony

CASE THREE
Contradictory Text Messages from Different Members of the Healthcare Team

CASE FOUR
Follow-Up Via Texting

CASE FIVE
Admissions of Liability in Text Messages

RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
HIPAA, HITECH, and Confidentiality

 

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