33% of hospital workers oppose texting prescription orders, survey finds

Though texting prescription orders has become common in many organizations, a new survey from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices found 33 percent of hospital workers oppose the practice, according to Pharmacy Practice News.

ISMP surveyed 778 of its newsletter readers — which include nurses, pharmacists, physicians, medication safety officers, quality and risk managers, and pharmacy technicians — between June and August 2017.

Although only 12 percent of respondents said their organizations allowed texting for prescription orders in their facilities, 45 percent of pharmacists and 35 percent of nurses said they received prescription orders via text message regularly.

Respondents identified confusing text abbreviations as a risk with texting prescription orders, and 55 percent of respondents said they've had to text prescribers back to ask for clarification on an order.

"Some respondents alarmingly noted they only include abbreviated patient identifiers in text messages to offset security risks, which could lead to errors and the wrong patient receiving a medication," according to the ISMP. 

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