While industries such as banking, insurance, and education consider faxing a nearly antiquated form of communication, many in healthcare have not transitioned to the digital transfer of information. The fax’s endurance may be a symptom of regulations, technological limitations, or simply tradition. The lack of privacy for personal health information, the uncertainty and unreliability on the part of the end user, half-printed and missing pages, are all critical reasons to #killthefax.
In August, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced their goal to eliminate fax machines from physician offices by 2020. CMS Administrator Seema Verma noted healthcare is stuck in a 1990s time warp — it is possible to keep patient data secure while sharing it with them. Verma challenged developers to help make doctors’ offices a fax free zone by 2020.
Recently released research dubbed, ‘Faxploit’, demonstrates how cyber criminals can now
infiltrate a corporate network by exploiting all-in-one-printer-fax machines. The only thing required to carry out the attack is a fax number. Another reason to #killthefax.
Interoperability remains the key in accomplishing the #killthefax initiative.
Participation in health information exchange, such as HealthSYNC, will not only help #killthefax in Louisiana but also allows healthcare providers to
quickly access their patients’ data across disparate healthcare systems, reducing treatment delays and enhancing clinical decision making. The HIE supports patient care coordination and transitions of care by allowing healthcare professionals to access their patients’ most recent test results, procedures
, and medications in a secure environment.