Communication, faxing issues arise after Rhode Island practice transitions to digital networks

A Providence, R.I. gastroenterology practice that relies on faxing to send and receive patient information suffered from communication mishaps after Cox Communications changed phone lines to a digital network, according to Adam Hallam, chief technology officer at University Gastroenterology.

Providence, R.I.-based University Gastroenterology receives and sends more than 20,000 individual documents through its fax system on a monthly basis. However, these faxes were stalled due to updates to its communication lines.

Cox Communications visited University Gastroenterology around eight months ago to update the practice's copper analog telephone connections, according to Mr. Hallam. By making the updates, Cox Communications transitioned University Gastroenterology from an analog to a digital line. University Gastroenterology was not aware of the transition, Mr. Hallam said.  

In turn, the faxes sent from University Gastroenterology were not legible or never received. University Gastroenterology also struggled to receive faxes. For the past two months, it has taken between 12 and 18 hours for the practice to receive faxes. Additionally, there is no records stored of the faxes that are not being sent or received.

Faxes can be successfully transmitted on a digital line; however, practices need to have systems to correct them from becoming distorted or failing. Carriers must provide what is called a t38 error correction, Mr. Hallan said. This allows for the digital line to accept, read and deliver a fax.

University Gastroenterology has since contracted with a different communication network provider, Telnyx. The new provider also operates on a digital line; however, it leverages the t38 error correction solution, so faxing is not disrupted at University Gastroenterology, Mr. Hallam said.

Editor's note: Becker's reached out to Cox Communication for a statement. This story will be updated accordingly.

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