Utilizing standard text messaging protocol, Short Message Service (SMS), text messaging is an alternative to standard alpha/numeric (i.e. beeper) paging. Text messages are sent, via the paging platform, to your cell phone, Droid, iPhone, Blackberry or other communication device that support SMS. While this technology eliminates the need for multiple devices, careful consideration must be given when using a cell phone exclusively.
UW Health Short Message Service (SMS) Policy
Utilizing standard text messaging protocol, Short Message Service (SMS), text messaging is an alternative to standard alpha/numeric (beeper) paging. Text messages are sent to your cell phone, blackberry or other communication device that supports SMS via the paging platform. While this technology eliminates multiple devices (i.e. cell phone and pager), careful consideration must be given when using a cell phone exclusively. Currently Telecommunications recommends that when an individual is on call, beeper paging be used. Should a department and or individual choose to utilize SMS text messaging, they should follow the policy as outlined below.
I. Purpose: To establish an SMS or page to cell phone policy for UW Health employees who as part of the job responsibilities are required to be on call. This policy outlines the minimum acceptable standard in regard to SMS usage.
II. Rationale: Employees affiliated with UW Health are representatives of the organization and are responsible for being reachable when on call. The described standards of SMS text messaging usage are defined to provide consistent and acceptable response times when on call.
III. Persons Affected: This policy applies to all persons performing work for UWHC (including regular employees, physicians, temporary or contract employees, students and volunteers), all employees of UWMF and those employees of the UWSMPH who work in the hospital or clinical setting. For the purposes of this policy, these persons will be collectively referred to as “employees”.
IV. Policy: While the following guidelines provide information specific to SMS usage, the ultimate consideration is whether or not an employee is able to:
- Adequately determine when SMS text messaging is appropriate versus using a hospital or long range pager. When making this determination, one must take into full account personal and/or hospital cell phone coverage and risks associated with cell phone coverage including potential dead spots. Additionally one must be aware that unlike beeper paging, this technology relies on cell phone carriers. There is potential for downtime that is beyond the control of UWHC.
- Take responsibility for setting proper page status (i.e. available on pager, text message to cell, etc.)
- Ensure that Patient History Information is not included in SMS (i.e. text) messages.
- Respond in an on call situation within established departmental time frames. Note: We strongly recommend you remain on pager when on call.
- Ensure cell phone ring tone is sufficient to alert user of incoming text page message.
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