Text Messages from An EMR

Posted on June 15, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Text messages are becoming more and more popular in the US. It’s funny, because the US is about 5 or so years behind Europe when it comes to the use of text messages. Better late than never I guess. The addiction is especially true with high school children, but the college ranks are ravaged with students who are addicted to texting. I’ve heard some parents say that a text message is the only way they can communicate with their child (how sad is that?).

Considering text messages are getting so popular, I wonder if any EMR companies have integrated text messaging into their software. The most obvious use would be to send a text message reminder about the appointment. I think many patients would love this service. A text message reminder for an annual pap smear or other follow up appointment would be really beneficial as well.

This really wouldn’t be that hard to implement since you can send an email which then goes to someone as a text message. The challenge is only figuring out which provider that person was on in order to send the email to the right place.

Is anyone doing text messages from their EMR? Certainly there are some HIPAA considerations here, but that should be covered by the agreement when they give you their cell number.