Texting and E-mail in Medical Offices

Business Communications, No PHI
•For Business Communications, such as “it’s time for new toner for the printer in the back hall,” plain e-mail or texting would be OK
•Documentation is not an issue in these cases
•BUT! Even if there is no PHI, there may be other sensitive personal or business information being communicated
•Do you want private information on personal e-mail or on the same app as the staff’s personal text messages?

Business Communications, With PHI
•Intra-staff communications with some identified information
–“Mrs. Smith is ready in room 2”
–“What are the tests we should be ready to conduct with Mr.Jones?”
–“Mary’s blood work numbers are…”
–Details on patients to prep providers
•Information recorded elsewhere as necessary
•No need to document these communications
•Need to secure these communications

-Jim Sheldon-Dean