TEXThink My Juan 2 Send!: SMS as a communication tool in healthcare

in Health IT/Technology by

Having one of the fastest growth rate for mobile technology usage, text messaging is a major part of social communication in the Philippines today. Text messaging  allows  fast transmission of information.  It minimizes time wasted in call back protocols predominant in the era of telephones and pagers.  The growing, interconnected telco coverage spheres or bubble made it almost impossible for someone to “evade” messages as long as you know his or her cellphone number and there is a “signal” in that area. Since one simply does not share cellphone numbers to people they  don’t trust, text messaging is relatively secure than emails, which can be hacked or flooded with spam.

In healthcare, sms’ utility went beyond social networking.  Fast, efficient and because it can be sent asynchronously to any person who is mobile, text messaging became the mainstay of communications for many healthcare institutions and HCPs in the Philippines.

But sms as a communication tool in healthcare exposes patients, HCPs and HCis to potential risks. One potential problem is electronic healthcare data privacy infringements. Sms can be sent to a wrong person, read by everyone else and are sometimes a nightmare to track . The use of personal cellphone numbers to send/received electronic patient data or even critical care orders not only poses risk to HCI but more importantly, to the safety of the patient. Without a HIPAA like law to govern electronic healthcare data, HCIs in the Philippines need to create hospital wide policies and protocols governing use of SMS as a healthcare communication tool.

Join us this coming saturday April 5, 2014 10:00 AM Manila Time (UTC + 8) for an hour of tweetchat and followed by a Hang Out on Air conversation , as we discuss  “TEXThink  My Juan 2, Send!” 

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  • T1: As an HCP, do you use sms as an official communication tool for sharing electronic health data in health care institutions?
  • T2: In what instance are sms of benefit to patients, HCPs and HCI as a communication tool? What instances are they not?
  • T3: Do you think SMS has been utilized fully as communication tool for low resource community like PH?
  • CT: If you have one sms usage policy suggestion for HCI/HCPs, what would it be?


Join our tweetchat discussion by following hashtag #healthxph and replying to the discussion using the same hashtag, #healthxph. To join the HOA watch the live discussion on this youtube link

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The Role of SMS in Business Communications

Dr. Remo-tito Aguilar co-founded #HealthXPh. A board certified orthopedic surgeon, he is Chief of Clinics at General Santos Medical Center and Medical Specialist II Orthopedics at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City. Dr. Aguilar is a healthcare social media evangelist and writes his medical musings at The Cast & Curious (www.remomd.com).