Three Things to Know About the Future of Medical Faxing

Faxing may seem outdated at first glance, but in fact, more and more hospitals are choosing to incorporate an online fax service into their electronic medical record. Here, Steve Adams, vice president of marketing for Protus, the provider of MyFax, a leading Internet fax service, discusses three characteristics of current fax services and how they can help hospitals transition to a paperless system.

1. Internet faxing services can help hospitals transition to EMR.
As hospitals struggle to keep up with clinical practices while rolling out a new records management system, an integrated faxing service can help tie the old, paper-based world to the new, paperless system. "It means that their regular workflow, where they're receiving and sending faxes, is captured electronically," Mr. Adams says. "Change takes a long time, and faxing is a comfortable technology. It's there, it's secure and it works." He says because faxing is particularly useful in linking hospital administration with hospital physicians and external providers, it can help to include a faxing feature in your hospital's EMR.

2. Unlike email, faxing is considered secure by HIPAA. Because faxing happens over a direct phone line between two facilities, it is considered a secure form of communication – unlike email, which often travels on an unsecured internet path. Traditional faxing could be considered less secure because, once sent, the fax sits on the fax machine where anyone could pick it up, but electronic faxing is accomplished through a secure website. "It's the same way you'd do online banking," Mr. Adams says. "It's encrypting the data from the servers where it's being sent and received, so patient and hospital information benefits from increased protection."

3. Electronic faxing can help organize patient information.
Mr. Adams says one of the problems of a paper-based medical world is that different stacks of paper are hard to pull together into an organized, integrated information system. "The problem that everybody's trying to solve is the day-to-day life of the physician, where you have a file here and a stack of reports here," says Mr. Adams. "When the faxes are directly received and auto-sorted into a patient's profile, they can all be reviewed in one place, and you don't have to worry about losing the third page of a fax. The doctor has all the information he needs in one place."

Read more about MyFax.

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