CMS has implemented new regulations that mandate electronic communication between a wide range of healthcare providers, including primary care physicians. These regulations aim to enhance interoperability and prioritize patient-centered care. However, due to the lack of interoperability in many technology systems, fax machines remain the preferred method for healthcare organizations to exchange documentation and messages. Despite CMS' ongoing efforts to eliminate faxing, it will continue until a superior alternative is developed. According to the Consensus survey, 44% of respondents plan to enhance interoperability in the coming year.
To streamline fax processes, providers can adopt digital cloud fax technology (DCFT). This solution enables secure online receipt, review, signing, and sending of faxes without the need for paper or physical fax machines. It offers a cost-effective and HIPAA-compliant approach to sharing documents and records, aligning with the HIMSS category of "foundational interoperability."
#1 No additional equipment needed
Cloud-based faxing offers numerous advantages over traditional physical fax machines. Not only does it address potential HIPAA security concerns, but it also eliminates the need for paper, toner, dedicated phone lines, and maintenance. With cloud fax, employees can easily manage their own faxing needs digitally through email or a user-friendly web interface.
The IT team can effortlessly oversee and adjust the company's faxing infrastructure using an intuitive administrator portal. By migrating to a digital cloud fax solution, businesses can significantly reduce the exorbitant costs associated with conventional faxing services.
#2 Increased flexibility
Legacy faxing requires employees to be physically present at the fax machine to send or receive faxes. This not only hampers productivity and responsiveness but also undermines HIPAA compliance standards, as PHI faxes can arrive at any time, day or night.
With digital cloud fax technology, your practice staff can receive, review, annotate, send, and digitally sign faxes from anywhere. They can utilize a web interface, business email, a secure mobile app, or a desktop app to effortlessly create and send faxes directly from their computers. Modern cloud fax solutions provide intelligent fax routing, allowing staff to define rules that automatically distribute faxes to the correct destinations.
You know that there are fax solutions for business for almost any device. With the Fax from iPhone app, you can use all the features of landline fax on your smartphone. Among all business communication tools for smartphones, the best one is to install Fax from the App Store and quickly set it up. The app allows you to quickly scan physical documents and even convert or edit them. The application allows you to organize document security using the built-in smartphone tools. To set up secure communication, it is enough to enable access protection by faceID or password. However, to achieve maximum business productivity, you need to install the application on all work devices.
#4 Streamlined workflows
An enterprise fax API integrated into digital cloud fax technology empowers staff to seamlessly access digital fax capabilities within their everyday workflow applications. This eliminates the inefficient process of printing, walking to the fax machine, waiting for transmission, and dealing with paper documents.
Implementing a fax API provides centralized visibility, robustness, and control over faxing, streamlining record-keeping, enhancing security and compliance, and facilitating scalable fax capacity based on business decisions.
#5 HIPAA compliance
HIPAA regulations tend to favor faxing over email for transmitting PHI. However, it's important to note that faxes are not inherently HIPAA compliant. Legacy fax environments were created without adequate security measures. For instance, standard fax transmissions over the phone network lack encryption. Additionally, sensitive documents left on office fax machines are accessible to anyone with office access.
Cloud fax solutions address these security vulnerabilities, providing enhanced security for faxes containing PHI compared to email. Robust cloud fax solutions are both HIPAA compliant and HITRUST CSF Certified. They encrypt documents during transit (using 256-bit TLS) and at rest. Documents are password-protected, delivered directly to authorized personnel's inboxes, and stored for archiving on servers within SSAE 16 SOC 2-secured facilities.
#6 Improved employee productivity
Faxing is a highly inefficient aspect of staff workflow in practices. Despite using EHRs to create and update records and other documents, employees often resort to printing and faxing them. This requires additional steps to secure, file, or shred the hard copies to security and HIPAA requirements.
Fortunately, a cloud fax solution simplifies the process, making faxing as convenient as sending an email. Employees can securely send and receive faxes using their numbers without the need for physical documents or transmission. Automation streamlines tasks like generating cover sheets, filing, and distributing, replacing manual processes.
By reducing administrative burdens, productivity and efficiency can increase. A small-scale study focusing on the Quadruple Aim—reducing costs, improving population health, patient satisfaction, and staff well-being demonstrated how even small changes can have a substantial impact on productivity.
Your employees already overwhelmed with duties are now required to showcase their coordination skills alongside their day-to-day responsibilities. Despite promises of true data interoperability, the frustration of professionals persists. Digital cloud fax technologies offer a solution by streamlining workflows and facilitating seamless data exchange among providers.