In an updated memo, CMS reinforced its policy that texting of patient orders is prohibited and Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) is the preferred method of order entry by a provider. CMS wrote that it “has held to the long standing practice that a physician or Licensed Independent Practitioner (LIP) should enter orders into the medical record via a hand written order or via CPOE. An order if entered via CPOE, with an immediate download into the provider’s EHR, is permitted as the order would be dated, timed, authenticated, and promptly placed in the medical record.”

CMS says texting patient information among members of the healthcare team is permissible if accomplished through a secure, encrypted platform. But CMS wants organizations to implement procedures that routinely assess for any security breaches in order to avoid negative outcomes that could compromise patient privacy per HIPAA regulations.

The memo can be found at: