Should You Consider Cloud Faxing for Your Medical Practice?
Do you worry you might be putting your patients’ data at risk when you use the cloud? Are you unsure if cloud faxing is the right healthcare communication strategy for your practice? A study by HyTrust found that one in four healthcare organizations are guilty of not adequately encrypting patient data (name, birthdate, and social security number), putting it at risk of unauthorized access. Maintaining the integrity of patient health information is not only sacrosanct to the doctor-patient relationship, but also a legal requirement under HIPAA.
Faxing is a popular means of communication at medical practices because it is convenient, reliable, traceable, secure, and legally binding. Transmission of documents over the internet continues to grow by leaps and bounds as technologies converge. It has never been more important to adopt universal methods of communication that are integrated with multiple devices.
Fax over IP (FoIP) is increasingly being adopted by healthcare organizations because it utilizes internet transmission and offers a unified method of communication for multiple devices. Cloud faxing allows organizations to overcome the quality of service issues typically associated with faxing on SIP-based and voice-over-IP telephonic communication. Moreover, cloud faxing allows healthcare organizations to audit and document a trail of all communication and securely archive all transactions. Finally, in addition to HIPAA compliance, cloud faxing at medical practices is associated with a reduced investment on hardware and maintenance. It is a consolidation of resources, leading to increased efficiency, and ultimately, a healthy return on investment.
Should you consider cloud faxing for your medical practice?
At healthcare organizations, secure handling of documents is paramount. Confidentiality cannot be compromised based on a need for urgency, yet cloud faxing accomplishes both these goals. For healthcare organizations with multiple locations or large networks, cloud faxing offers flexibility and simplicity. Some of the benefits of cloud faxing for healthcare organization include:
- Secure document transmission
- Integration with health IT systems and for HIPAA compliance
- Quick access to time-sensitive patient health information
- Automated tracking, delivery, and receipt of confidential documents
- Improved efficiency in billing, coding, and claims processing
Interestingly, medical organizations do not have to adopt cloud faxing all at once. It can be done in stages, adding one fax machine or one department at a time, as needed. Physical fax machines can be gradually phased out to eventually give way to a fully software-based system. This staged transition ensures minimal disruption to workflow and gives staff time to acclimatize.
Once installed, the benefits of cloud faxing quickly become apparent. For instance, the OCR routing module permits a document, such as a lab report, to be directly routed to a specific department or healthcare provider based on keywords contained in the document.
Another key advantage of cloud faxing is its ability to handle a variety of digital document formats, such as HTML and Rich Text Format, in addition to the popular MS Word and PDF. This means that if a business or healthcare organization has a preferred file format, users of cloud faxing do not have to worry about conversion before document transmission to that practice.
The problems associated with physical fax machines and older faxing solutions, such as dropped faxes and locked channels, are addressed by cloud faxing. In fact, cloud faxing solutions can handle a substantially higher workload than older machines and have the capacity to process tens of thousands of documents every day. Experts in cloud faxing can design future-proof solutions that promise an optimal performance of investment and no worries in terms of network upgrades.
Cloud faxing software is a resilient infrastructure such that healthcare organizations need not fear service continuity problems in the event of software failure. The system’s ability to track thousands of faxes with automatic receipts, notifications, and archiving make this technology an invaluable tool for hospitals and health systems. Tracking data allows departments and organizations to optimize efficiency by analyzing fax usage statistics.
Perhaps the most important advantage of cloud faxing is that it is a HIPAA compliant method of sharing sensitive documents. Therefore, ultimately, cloud faxing solutions improve operational efficiency and ensure compliance, at the same time integrating seamlessly with existing communication systems. You should consider cloud faxing for your medical practice because with this technology a simple click of a button is all that’s needed for secure transmission of confidential medical records.