Texting Patients? Avoid These Pitfalls

For years, pharmacies have called patients to let them know about important updates to their service, like prescriptions that are ready for pickup or paperwork that needs to be filled out. Maintaining this kind of communication between patients and pharmacies is vital for the smooth day-to-day operation of a pharmacy and the patient’s satisfaction.

Many pharmacies are investigating the possibilities of using SMS (also known as text messages) to send notifications to patients. Pharmacies can send text messages automatically, and many younger patients are likely more responsive to texts than calls. The more permanent nature of texts also gives patients a written record of the pharmacy’s information, which many clients probably find much more convenient than taking notes off a garbled voicemail.

But many of the same aspects that make texts convenient also raise concerns about privacy and confidentiality.

Continue to Forbes to learn some of the most important regulations that affect pharmacies’ ability to reach out to patients via text, and how to conduct yourself so you remain in compliance. As always, if you have any specific questions about HIPAA, HITECH or other privacy regulations, you should consult a lawyer.

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