Text messaging is the communication of choice for Generation Y, born between the late seventies and the late nineties. Phone conversations and even email are increasingly becoming obsolete and considered by many as unduly time-consuming, old-fashioned modes of communication. Our young people point us in a new direction, one that we must understand not only for our interactions with them, but for other clients and patients who are readily adopting this newer technology.
However, the importance of text messaging (SMS) and the risks it brings should not be taken casually by professionals. As with any other conversation with consumers, safeguards must be in place to properly record and document the texts produced during professional interactions. A professional’s texting also needs to be meet clinican standards for appropriate interaction. Despite many professionals’ reluctance to text with patients, consumer demand for the efficiency of text messaging may outweigh its disadvantages. Informed clinical judgement is the key to setting reasonable policies in any practice setting.
This webinar will cover how to think about text messaging, several clinical issues related to text messaging and the little-known risk management issues that are crucial for safe, effective interaction. Encryption, security, downloading messages to one’s computer and specific technologies that can be used for these functions will all be covered. Dr. Maheu will outline 12 ways in which the following scenarios may expose you and your client or patient to undue risk, and help you think through your own practice demands to decide what to do about them:
- You are outside of your office when your office manager calls you regarding a problem with your next scheduled appointment. You ask that the client’s phone number be sent to you in a text message, knowing that if you simply click the client’s phone number in your text message, the number will be dialed automatically. Your cell phone will thus spare you the time and effort of writing the number down first, then dialing.
- In a session, you and your patient develop 2 key self-statements she can use when overwhelmed by the current loss of a relationship. She texts you several days later, and asks you to please text her self-statements because she forgot them.
Register here: http://telehealth.org/webinars