RISK MANAGEMENT MINUTE – The Risks of Texting Patient Reminders: Chiropractors, Phones, and Liability

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program
RISK MANAGEMENT MINUTE – The Risks of Texting Patient Reminders: Chiropractors, Phones, and Liability

Guidance from ChiroFutures Malpractice Insurance Program

For many chiropractors, the relationship with patients extends beyond the four walls of a clinic. With the ubiquity of smartphones and the instantaneous nature of digital communication, it can be tempting for chiropractors to leverage texting as a tool for patient reminders. However, as with all aspects of patient communication, there are potential pitfalls that should be addressed from a risk management perspective. In this light, the advice given by the ChiroFutures Malpractice Insurance Program offers invaluable insights.

Can a Chiropractor Legally Text Patient Reminders?

While there isn't a universally clear-cut answer to this, given that rules and regulations can differ depending on jurisdiction, there are general guidelines and best practices that chiropractors should adhere to:

1. Privacy Concerns: Texting from a personal phone can inadvertently expose personal information. Moreover, the text could be seen by others who might have access to the patient's phone, risking a potential breach of confidentiality.

2. Consent: It's crucial to have the patient's consent before sending any text messages. This not only ensures respect for their preferences but also limits potential liability.

3. Data Security: Personal phones might not have the same level of security and encryption as professional systems or platforms. If a device is lost or compromised, patient data could be at risk.

ChiroFutures' Perspective

According to the guidance from the ChiroFutures Malpractice Insurance Program:

1. Chiropractors are urged to utilize a professional platform or system designed specifically for patient communication. Such platforms often come with enhanced security features and are compliant with regulations related to patient privacy.

2. If chiropractors choose to use texting, they should ensure they have clear and documented consent from patients to communicate in this manner.

3. Regularly review and update protocols and tools used for communication to ensure compliance with the evolving landscape of data security and privacy regulations.

The Importance of a Robust Malpractice Provider

In the ever-changing world of health and technology, questions about appropriate practice and communication methods will inevitably arise. It's vital to have a malpractice provider that is not just an insurer, but a partner that can provide guidance, clarity, and support. ChiroFutures is more than just an insurance provider; they are a resource for chiropractors, offering:

- Timely and relevant advice on best practices.
- A team that understands the nuances and intricacies of the chiropractic profession.
- Assurance that, should any legal issues arise, you have a competent partner standing with you.

The decision to text patients from a personal or business phone is fraught with potential risks. Before proceeding, chiropractors must weigh the convenience against potential pitfalls. The guidance from the ChiroFutures Malpractice Insurance Program is clear: prioritize patient privacy, secure explicit consent, and lean on professional systems designed for this purpose. Lastly, having a robust malpractice provider like ChiroFutures is crucial. They provide not just insurance, but peace of mind, knowing you have a partner that understands and supports your profession in all its facets.

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program