Joint Commission revises position on secure text messaging for healthcare

You may have heard the news that The Joint Commission has updated its position on secure texting of orders. Vocera is excited about what this means for the ability of healthcare teams to save time and lives through more efficient, secure communication.

In short, it's now okay for physicians and licensed practitioners to text orders for care, treatment, and services as long as a secure text messaging platform is used. The Joint Commission calls for a secure text messaging platform to include the following:
● Secure sign-on process
● Encrypted messaging
● Date and time stamps
● Read and delivery receipts
● Custom message retention time frames
● Specified contact list for individuals authorized to receive and record orders

With so many secure texting solutions available today, it's critical to understand that all secure communications platforms are not created equal. Vocera delivers all the capabilities The Joint Commission requires, and does much more.

Only Vocera marries the required capabilities with a directory that uses roles, groups, presence, and availability, and stays constantly synchronized and accurate. This means that the Vocera system knows, for example, if a recipient is allowed to receive an order, and if he or she is present on campus and available to complete the task. Only Vocera enables each text to reach the right person, on any device, wherever they are, even across shift changes and staff rotations.

Any provider of communication systems can claim its products are secure. But only Vocera has received government and commercial certifications and has passed audits that prove our ability to provide a secure communication environment. This is why more than 1000 hospitals and health systems around the world, including military hospitals, rely on our platform to communicate securely.

As part of its update, the Joint Commission also provides guidance for policy to standardize ways to send orders. The Vocera platform complies with this guidance by enabling hospitals and health systems to create templates that speed the communication of orders and provide a common format that can be customized to meet hospital requirements.

Vocera's CNO Rhonda Collins sums up what this change means for patient care: "The Joint Commission's updated position on secure texting in the clinical environment truly transforms patient care for all caregivers, patients, and families. Nurses and physicians can now be seamlessly connected, ensuring real-time communication of critical patient information. The nurse can stay closer to the patient, and critical information is delivered without confusion or delay. This certainly enhances Vocera's mission of reducing time and saving lives through effective, secure communication solutions."

The Joint Commission's guidance sets the stage for improving the way care teams communicate and driving greater efficiency in patient care. Healthcare communication is changing rapidly and it's ever more critical to have a communication system that connects all members of the care team and the systems that drive care.

Read all the details of the Joint Commission's announcement in the May 4, 2016 issue of The Joint Commission Newsletter.

Gautam M. Shah
Vice President of Product Management, Vocera Communications, Inc., which offers one of the most robust, secure, integrated clinical communications systems in healthcare

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