by Dr. Candace DeLapp
Texting has become more common as a means of communication. It’s easy and convenient for all parties. However, it is not without pitfalls. Below are a couple of situations you need to know about texting and malpractice claims.
- A patient texts you or your office with “a quick question.” Avoid the quick answer back. Maybe have the patient in for a face-to-face conversation or let them know you want to investigate further and will get back with them. Patients can and will use text messages against you!
- Do not conduct business via texting. Your office should not be texting billing statements (balances due) or any private information via a text. A personal phone call or statement should be sent. Speak with the patient in person (don’t leave a detailed message) and ask them to return your call. HIPPA and privacy issues come in to play here. Have you ever dialed the wrong number?
- Appointment reminders are acceptable via texting, but no personal information should be included. Just the day and time of the dental appointment. No details as to what is to be performed. Again, this is a privacy issue. You don’t know who has access to the text.
It’s important to remember that anything stored on a phone can be retrieved and used as evidence.
Be careful what you text!