Posted on behalf of Kendra Nalbandian, Regional Sales Manager

The use of a fax machine in the healthcare market goes back a number of years and has been relied on heavily as a means to communicate by physicians. Physicians have utilized the fax machine to communicate with patients, pharmacists, colleagues and a number of other entities. But today’s statistics compared to years ago are different, right? Surprisingly 15 billion faxes are still sent by US physicians every year. This startling statement is concerning as there are a number of risks associated with paper based faxing.
Do you want your protected health information transmitted via fax? The most likely answer to this question is no. Sending Patient Health Information (PHI) via paper based faxing presents substantial risks for both patients and physicians. There are many cases in which a fax machine is not located in a secure area or a simple mistake of entering the wrong number could send sensitive data to an unknown location. There are quite a few scenarios which can add up to a breach of private information or even costly legal fees associated with a security breach or HIPPA violation. In addition to the possibilities of risks paper based faxing can present, it is also a costly and time consuming endeavor.
Can time and money be saved by eliminating the fax machine? There are most definitely cost savings associated with eliminating the fax machine as well as a large amount of time saved on employee tasks. Often medical records staff are tasked with the duty of answering numerous phone calls daily pertaining to faxes as well as shuffling faxed documents. If faxing was to be eliminated from the workflow process and an electronic method put into place the benefits would be numerous. An integrated electronic method of communication provides the ability to control where information is sent, who is accessing the information while letting medical staff use time saved to attend to other priorities. There are a number of solutions in the market place that can lend to the elimination of the fax machine. Summit Healthcare, a leader in the integration and automation technology space has developed a solution that answers the question…Do you want your protected health care information transmitted via fax? The answer is no and Summit Healthcare is working towards helping hospitals meet the needs of their patients.
Summit Healthcare’s solution Provider Alert can not only mitigate the risks associated with faxing it can improve the data flow between hospital systems and the provider community. It allows facilities to minimize the disconnect between care settings all while helping to attain standards set by Meaningful Use Stage 3 requirements. Summit Healthcare allows hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician practices etc. to communicate effectively across the continuum of care. Considering currently 86% of providers with an EMR send PHI by fax which cannot communicate with other platforms only supports the case to eliminate faxing and implement a solution like Provider Alert.
Learn more: Provider Alert