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


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“Why should we have emojis?” one study participant said, reflecting frustration with the lack of shared understanding about texting systems. A new study from the Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital found that although replacing pagers with clinical texting systems has benefits, some doctors are critical of the high volume of messaging.

“Communication is essential to hospital workflow, yet we found that there is a lack of shared understanding among clinicians regarding how to use clinical texting,” said study corresponding author Joy L. Lee, a Regenstrief Institute research scientist and IU School of Medicine assistant professor of medicine, in a statement.

“Clinical texting is a double-edged sword – it’s easy to contact fellow clinicians, which can be viewed as good or bad,” Lee said.

WHY IT MATTERS As the researchers noted, pager use is dropping 11% every year in U.S. hospitals, with communications increasingly reliant on smartphone messages.”With this change comes shifting norms regarding communication about clinical care, because phones and pagers require different processes and considerations for sending and receiving messages,” observed the team.”Many clinical texting platforms also include more functions than traditional pagers, such as the ability to […]

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