FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What about text messages?
Under the regulations, clients have the right to request alternate methods of communication. If the client requests to communicate through text messages, you should explain the risks, and have them acknowledge the risks and sign permission for the alternate form of communication. If a patient texts you, it is reasonable to assume that they understand the risks, but additional explanation of potential risks is prudent.
If text messages are being sent between two providers, and they contain protected health information (PHI), the texts need to be encrypted. If a text is sent that is nebulous such as “your 4:00 canceled,” you do not need to encrypt.