JCAHO Greenlights Secure Messaging for Medical Orders


May 3, 2016 Andrew Brooks, MD, Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer

Effective immediately, the Joint Commission has approved secure messaging platforms like TigerText for sending and receiving physician orders.

This is huge for every organization that already has a secure messaging solution in place. It is also a fantastic opportunity for those who have been waiting for the right time to finally move past existing, arcane processes. No more phone tag, no more chasing down providers, and most important this will improve the accuracy of physician orders for greater patient safety. Physicians can TigerText orders to nurses and other team members from wherever they are, in accordance with Joint Commission guidelines which now say:

“[Practitioners] may text orders as long as a secure text messaging platform is used and the required components of an order are included.”

Did you catch that? Texting orders is allowed “as long as a secure text messaging platform is used.” This is a critical caveat to keep in mind. Using regular consumer SMS texting to transmit orders, or any ePHI, is still not permitted because it is not secure.

So what qualifies as a “secure text messaging platform”? The Joint Commission gives us a specific set of criteria to help answer this question.

Joint Commission Requirements TigerText Capabilities
Secure sign-on process
Encrypted messaging
Delivery and read receipts
Date and time stamp
Customized message retention time frames
Specified contact list for individuals authorized to receive and record orders

Notice the requirement around customized message retention time frames, requiring an ability to assign messages a finite lifespan to clear from user devices. Of course, if an organization chooses to create a secured master archive for those types of messages, that would still be their prerogative. Most solutions in the market do not meet this critical requirement set forth by the Joint Commission. TigerText meets all of the requirements listed above, and has since its inception over 5 years ago.

What does this mean for healthcare?

The approval of texting orders is one key step toward improving our primitive clinical workflows and moving to more efficient, service-oriented care. This is one of 300 workflows that we have mapped to rapidly improve the delivery of patient care by smoother processes. It is lightning-fast, more direct and accurate than a phone call, and contains more useful information than a pager ever could.

So go ahead and TigerText about orders with your colleagues. JCAHO approves. Schedule a demo now.