Clinical texting is a ‘double-edged sword,’ Regenstrief stare finds

A modern stare from the Regenstrief Institute, Indiana College College of Medication and Indiana College Health Methodist Sanatorium found that, even supposing changing pagers with scientific texting programs has advantages, some clinical doctors are extreme of the high volume of messaging.

“Communication is obligatory to sanatorium workflow, but we found that there is an absence of shared figuring out amongst clinicians concerning how to utilize scientific texting,” acknowledged stare corresponding author Pleasure L. Lee, a Regenstrief Institute study scientist and IU College of Medication assistant professor of treatment, in a statement.  

“Clinical texting is a double-edged sword. It’s straightforward to contact fellow clinicians, which is also seen as factual or cross,” Lee acknowledged.  


As the researchers illustrious, pager use is dropping 11% yearly in U.S. hospitals, with communications increasingly more reliant on smartphone messages.  

“With this swap comes transferring norms concerning conversation about scientific care, because telephones and pagers require diversified processes and considerations for sending and receiving messages,” seen the crew.   

“Many scientific texting platforms additionally consist of more functions than former pagers, such because the flexibility to consist of photos. Despite the increased incidence of those scientific texting programs, reliable pointers and etiquette for crew conversation by CTS are silent evolving,” they added.  

For the stare, which became as soon as no longer too long within the past printed in Applied Clinical Informatics, within the autumn of 2019 researchers performed level of interest groups with 21 hospitalists and eight nurses about their impressions of using smartphones to ship and receive genuine messages relating patient care.   

Overall, researchers seen that the clinicians were silent adjusting to textual whine communications.   

The stare participants cited ease of receive entry to, the capability to ship photos – especially concerning dermatology consults – and the flexibility to file a conversation as advantages of scientific texting programs.  

On the opposite hand, implementation challenges, high textual whine volume and absence of shared figuring out about texting emerged as drawbacks.   

For instance, emojis are “factual so pointless,” the researchers quoted one participant as pronouncing. “Why ought to we now accept as true with emojis?”

“While hospitalists and nurses alike shared consensus on some aspects of texting: that it wants to be reliable, centered on essential factors, and replace former pagers, there had been many interpretations of how that became as soon as to be operationalized,” acknowledged the researchers.   

“Frustrations arose when senders and recipients disagreed,” they added.  

The study crew acknowledged their findings can accept as true with essential implications for healthcare crew participants.  

“Crew participants can also honest need periodic, transient trainings on how to put a shared figuring out in conversation preferences,” they acknowledged.  


Though the stare is amongst the first to investigate clinicians’ experiences with texting, the study crew seen that the dissatisfaction with volume echoes physician frustration with electronic well being file programs.

The sphere of EHR “alert fatigue” has, in incompatibility, been well-documented, with hospitals and well being programs tweaking their programs to pick out a perceive at and adjust accordingly. The trouble goes past burnout, too. ECRI listed alert fatigue as one in every of its top well being hazards for 2020.


“Every sanatorium or sanatorium machine wants to identify how to utilize scientific texting to optimize conversation, workflow and patient care and then design use pointers,” acknowledged the study crew’s Lee in a statement.

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT Info.

Twitter: @kjercich

Email: [email protected]

Healthcare IT Info is a HIMSS Media publication.

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