Medforce Blog

Best practices for efficient outbound document faxing

January 31, 2018

Category: General

Despite advances in technology, the fax machine continues to be the mainstay of many healthcare organizations and medical companies.  However, traditional faxing poses serious security risks.  Aging faxing systems typically lack security features found in up-to-date platforms.  Images are stored on a shared device, accessible to anyone.  Outgoing information is vulnerable on the receiving end, too.  Fax machines are often located in a central area where documents may remain unattended for long periods.  Sensitive information can easily be seen by personnel who are not authorized to access it.  Thus, organizations and companies are likely to violate HIPAA regulations.  

Some practice management software allows you to pull incoming faxes directly into their system.  Web-based solutions provide opportunities to improve outbound faxing efficiency as well.  Implementing best practices for outbound document faxing via the Internet minimizes security risks while simplifying and enhancing information-sharing.  

  • Electronic faxing is characterized by its ease-of-use.  Faxes can be sent just as you would send documents to a printer.  Users can print documents to a secure client that transfers information via HTTPS, which ensures appropriate file encryption.  
  • Secure clients allow the sender to enter one or more recipients in the "send to" field.  Users can add subjects, attach files, and include other pertinent information for each transaction.  Documents can be customized on company letterhead, with HIPAA compliance statements or any other protocols that should be included.  Delivery confirmations let you know that your fax was sent successfully.
  • Secure outbound faxing solutions increase access to data by allowing you to use email address lists to create contacts in your Global Address List (GAL).  Everyone in your organization or company can exchange data with common recipients.  You can configure your fax system like a network printer across multiple applications without installing additional hardware.  
  • Application programming interfaces (APIs) allow you to integrate EHRs, Microsoft Office, and any other printer-friendly Windows applications with your faxing program.  Faxing can be automated from within frequently-used applications.   Hence, outbound document faxing can be done without requiring additional staff time.  Employees can focus on more important tasks, improving administrative processes overall.
  • Superior faxing solutions minimize paper trails and reduce costs.  Since you only need Internet access, you can save money on phone lines and traditional faxing supplies, such as toner.  Since there is no fax machine in the way, you can further enhance administrative efficiency by making practical use of additional space.
  • Up-to-date faxing allows you to send a fax from any location, at any time, from any device that connects to the Internet.  This is especially beneficial if your employees telecommute or your organization or company has multiple locations.  Online fax platforms can accommodate any number of users.

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Fast and convenient, online faxing eliminates the delays that result when users have to leave their desks, operate the fax machine, then wait for the transaction to process.  Instead, an outgoing fax's journey can be tracked electronically.  You can also create secure archives of faxes sent, or send queries on sent and received documents.

Online faxing ensures privacy, since items can be sent directly from a staff member's PC rather than a shared fax machine.  You can specify who receives outgoing documents, assigning each recipient a secure fax number, reducing the likelihood that information will fall into the wrong hands.

Online faxing solutions support business continuity planning or disaster recovery initiatives to minimize workflow disruptions, since faxing can be done wherever there is Internet access.

Up-to-date outbound document faxing solutions effectively bridge technology and security gaps, which are prevalent in the healthcare industry.  Adopting an online faxing platform is one critical step you can take to ensure HIPAA compliance and help your organization or business maintain a competitive advantage amid changing healthcare trends.




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