I am writing this letter in response to the July issue’s editorial, “Scalpel, Stethoscope, iPad: The Future Is Now in the Intensive Care Unit.” I am concerned that it is implied that text messaging is an acceptable form of communication for the purpose of physician orders.

As a nursing leader, I strongly feel that effective communication is a cornerstone of patient and nursing safety. The Joint Commission does not recognize text messaged physician orders as an acceptable form of communication. Text messaging does not allow opportunity to read back and verify, as recommended by the Joint Commission. Critical clinical conversations may be missed by communicating by text messaging, and it does not provide an opportunity to converse with the provider to clarify orders. The Joint Commission states that institutions should establish a method of standardization for orders that are not written by the physician.

Organizations should...

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