Anyone working in healthcare knows that the humble fax machine is still a cornerstone of practice productivity. While the rest of the business world has mostly moved on to all-digital formats for important data, over 70% of healthcare offices still share documents via fax. A HIPAA-compliant, healthcare faxing solution is now available.
The reason so many healthcare practices still rely on fax machines is simple: there just wasn’t a better way to communicate data across disparate physical and digital systems while protecting sensitive health information.
But that’s finally changing, thanks to electronic fax services.
Healthcare Faxing’s Troublesome Workflows
Even though faxing has been the go-to solution for sharing documents in healthcare, it was never a perfect one. Mixing digital and physical data results in a number of problems and inefficiencies in standard office workflows.
For starters, it wastes time. When your practice receives a fax, someone has to get up from what they’re doing, go get the fax, then either file it away while they continue to work on something else or set about the labor-intensive task of manually entering data from the physical fax into the digital system. A 2017 study found that replacing these time-wasting processes with more efficient, all digital ones could save the healthcare industry over $9 billion per year.
This highlights another problem with healthcare faxing: it puts information at risk. Once that fax is printed, it’s difficult to control who has access to it. Should the wrong person grab the fax out of the machine, they could inadvertently have access to all sorts of information that should have remained private. The same risks exist when a document isn’t properly disposed of… which leads to a third problem with physical faxing.
It’s wasteful. Paper isn’t free, and busy healthcare offices can go through thousands of pages per year. Physical faxes are often very short lived—once received by an office, they’re destined for the shredder as soon as their information has been copied over into an electronic format.
Why is HIPAA-Compliant Online Faxing the Future?
Healthcare practices can solve these problems by replacing traditional fax-based workflows with ones that use all-digital online faxing.
An all-digital workflow is more efficient, as you no longer have employees moving back and forth between paper and digital tools to do their jobs. It’s also less disruptive—an online fax doesn’t require someone to drop what they’re doing and walk to a machine somewhere else in the office.
Digital workflows shorten timelines. After switching to a HIPAA compliant fax solution, one manager at Prescott Cardiology said, “We don’t need to wait two to three weeks for papers to get scanned into the system; now it is almost immediate.”
Getting rid of analog faxing improves security, as documents can be encrypted and it’s easier to control who has access to those documents. This tight level of control reduces the chances that someone’s personal health information will be accidentally and improperly shared.
There’s also no paper waste with digital faxing, which means less money spent on physical office supplies. Consider that roughly half of the 30 billion healthcare transactions processed each year occur via fax, and it’s easy to see just how much of an impact replacing all of those paper-based processes can make.
Steps to Simplify Healthcare Faxing and Healthcare Document Management
Mixing analog document faxing with digital systems is a complicated process. Getting data from a faxed document into your system can take eight or more steps, when the same process can be reduced to just three steps with an all-digital workflow.
Replacing your fax-based workflow with a modern, cloud-based approach won’t just have you taking fewer steps around your office—it’ll have your whole team operating more efficiently.
Stop Faxing, with Some Help from Updox
Updox HIPAA-Compliant eFax gives your healthcare practice all the tools it needs to leave the fax machine behind. Our HIPAA-compliant solution will help you protect patient privacy by eliminating physical faxes and keeping all of your data in one secure environment.
You’ll save time and money by not dealing with paper, and you’ll be able to edit documents electronically without disrupting your workflow.
If you’re ready to see how Updox can help your practice operate more efficiently, get in touch today to set up your personalized demo!