Who doesn’t love text messaging? It’s fast, easy, and efficient. People of all ages and generations have embraced it. And with Millennial generation physicians now hitting their practice stride, many practices are saying yes to patients who ask to communicate in this way.
But before you hit “Send,” recognize why SMS (Short Message Service) text messaging with patients is so risky. Simply put, it’s not encrypted or secure. In a physician or staff’s mobile device, patient text threads are mixed in with personal contact threads, creating an opportunity for messages to be sent to the wrong people. There is no central, auditable log of messages transmitted or received. There is no way to escalate a high priority message. And there is no easy way to print a text message or get it into the EHR/chart