by Arianna Etemadieh
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Who uses fax machines anymore? Healthcare does [video]
by Arianna Etemadieh
In today’s digital age, the notion of sending faxes sounds archaic. It might come as a shock to older generations that newer generations are simply outgrowing faxing – to the point where they won’t know what it is, or how it works.
But why are we talking about fax machines? Do people still use them?
Simply put: yes.
In the healthcare industry, fax machines are still alive and well. With that said, we decided to have our millennial staff send a fax so they could feel our customers’ pain.
Who is the undisputed Fax Sending Champion?
As each millennial struggled with the fax machine in their own way, our Founder CEO Hoala timed each staff member to see how long it took them to complete a fax, from writing a cover letter to receiving a confirmation receipt.
Below are the results, ranked from best to worst:
- Arianna: 2 min 19 sec
- Jonathan: 2 min 21 sec
- Mitch: 2 min 40 secs
- Phuong: 2 min 50 sec
- Renee: 4 min
- Evan: 4 min 30 sec
- Colin: 5 min 54 sec
- Greg: 8-10min
For comparison, here is how a few of our Generation X staff did:
- Hoala: 2 min 26 sec
- Roger: 2 min 43 sec
- Shannon: 3 min 5 sec
As you can see, some of the millennial staff were able to figure out the foreign fax machine in a matter of minutes (and on par with their Generation X colleagues).
Especially when you have HIPAA compliant encrypted email as an easy, secure and much faster alternative.
Why does the healthcare industry still send faxes?
There has been some debate about why medical practices still rely on fax machines considering faxes can be lost, dropped, or not even sent.
Why rely on this archaic method for transferring important health information when ePHI and electronic prescriptions exist, and are becoming more popular?
Again, to simply put it: some medical professionals are reluctant, hesitant, or too uncertain to change their ways.
Faxing became prevalent in the healthcare industry primarily because of all the paperwork involved in the medical profession.
By switching to an electronic method, some medical professionals have the misconception that transferring PHI will become more complicated. Questions arise such as, “How does encryption work? Will I need to remember passwords? Will my recipient need a password to open their emails?” and so on.
Technology is advancing at an exponential rate, so it’s understandable that people and industries take longer to catch up.
But is that any excuse for hospitals to require their doctors to still use pagers?
I digress. The key takeaway here: sending sensitive information via encrypted emails is not as big and scary as it sounds.
READ MORE: How to Improve Your Medical Practice
If you want your practice to stay at a competitive advantage, you need to keep up with the times.
Yes, there was a time when fax machines were shiny, new and fast.
But now, encrypted emails can leave our smartphones, hit an antenna, fly to space, come back to earth, hit another antenna and then hit the recipient’s phone in the time it takes you to punch in a ten digit phone number on a plastic box sitting on top of your filing cabinet.
The time you save sending faxes can be put towards seeing more patients, which means more revenue for your practice.