10 Statistics on Physicians' At-Work Texting Habits

A majority of physicians send their colleagues work-related text messages on their personal cell phones, raising data security concerns, according to a study in Telemedicine and e-Health.

Researchers surveyed 97 pediatric hospitalists about their at-work texting habits. The results revealed the following:

  • 60 percent sent and 61 percent received work-related text messages.
  • 12 percent sent/received work-related text messages more than 10 times per shift.
  • 53 percent texted about work-related matters while not on duty.
  • The most common recipients of the respondents' text messages were other pediatric hospitalists (68 percent), fellows or residents (37 percent) and consulting physicians (28 percent).
  • 46 percent reported having concerns about privacy standards with regards to texting.
  • 30 percent have received protected health information in a text message.
  • 11 percent said their organization offers a secure texting solution.

Texting on personal devices is risky from a security standpoint, as sensitive information could be seen by a third party or compromised through the loss or theft of the device. "Without proper safeguards in place, there is a concern of violating HIPAA, and few hospitals seem to have secure networks and encryption programs in place," write the study authors. "With the use of text messaging in the work place, hospitals should be evaluating the implementation of secure systems for this type of communication."

More Articles on Texting:

NorthBay Medical Center Implements Amcom's Secure Texting Solution
Texting Just the Beginning of Communication Security Concerns for Healthcare Providers
2 Secure Texting Success Stories

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