Fax might seem a bit old hat, especially when you image those bulky machines that take up lots of space and often have queues of people waiting to send and receive. Usually, older technology is not used as often because once technology is outdated, it can quickly fall prey to malware, hacking attempts or simply not stand up to the other technology it should be paired with.
However, in recent years, fax has become much more popular and with the emergence of online fax, the queues and bulky machines are long gone. This is a great example of an outdated bit of technology being repurposed and reconsidered for the modern age, allowing it to zoom past other technologies that are more susceptible to hacking.
Many businesses such as the medical and legal professions use online fax for a few simple reasons: online fax is much cheaper to install than end to end encrypted email, it comes with compliance assurances for a number of different regulations and it automatically provides an audit trail that will even stand up in court, plus your staff are able to use their time more efficiently, boosting your overall productivity.
Regulation Compliance Made Easy
Online fax works in a very similar way to end to end encrypted emails but with the added assurance that the service is compliant with HIPAA, GLBA, SOX, PCI and other regulations. For the medical industry, HIPAA – the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – compliance sets a high standard for protecting sensitive patient data. This means that when medical professionals want to share patient data with each other, they need to be able to ensure that only those people who need to see the information can. They also need to make sure that they take all the necessary precautions to avoid this information getting hacked.
The best way to ensure this is to use online fax which is fully compliant with HIPAA regulations. By using encryption, online fax makes sure that your faxes are transmitted securely and accessible only to authorized personnel. This means that a doctor, for example, would be able to view the records of their patient using their code, but no prying eyes could gain access.
Using HIPAA faxing is also good for streamlining your business and allowing your medical professionals to annotate notes and send them on easily. This has the further advantage of creating an audit trail that allow you to track your patient’s documents using their patient ID number. As all online faxes remain stored in the Cloud, nothing can be lost and all fax activity can be tracked by a centralized administration department. This is vital for you as a business to be able to provide the very best service to your client, but also to allow you to defend yourself in court should anything go wrong.
Cheaper to Use and More Environmentally Friendly Too
Fax machines have remained popular with medical businesses because they are more difficult to hack than email and are easy to annotate and send on. However, traditional fax machines can be slow and waiting around for a particular fax to come through isn’t a good use of anyone’s time.
While using a phone number is good for preventing hacking, it is also more expensive than using an email address. Plus, if your machine prints automatically, you don’t know who could see the printed fax if the intended recipient is not there to receive it immediately. Obviously, this is not good for patient confidentiality and could cause you real problems.
An online fax eliminates many of these problems cheaply and without compromising your security. It uses a secure email address for you to send and receive faxes over the internet and automatically saves every fax to the Cloud creating an audit trail. This method also cuts out the need for waiting by the machine and means that only the intended recipient will see the fax once it is printed. Now your staff will have more time to do their actual jobs, rather than waiting around all day.
In fact, you don’t even need to print an online fax, you can simply annotate it using a computer, tablet or even a smartphone before sending it on. This is great for environmental and economic reasons too. As you don’t need to print the fax, you won’t be spending a lot on paper and toner – great for reducing costs and waste!
Boost Your Company’s Productivity
When your staff are waiting around for a fax to arrive and the server is busy, they are wasting their time and skills on something utterly mundane. The benefit of the online fax is that because it arrives via email, it is much quicker and doesn’t require any waiting around. Furthermore, because you can also send faxes by email from your computer, tablet, smartphone or even an MFP, you can cut the queues entirely and throw out those old machines.
In the medical industry every single minute counts so there really is no time to waste with the transfer of vital information. The faster you can securely send something, the greater difference you will be able to make to the welfare of your patient.
Data protection is one of the most pressing issues in the healthcare industry but all of these issues will apply to you if you want to increase your security and make sure that you are fully compliant to the relevant regulations and guidelines.
As technology has progressed, so too have the skill of hackers around the world who are determined to access private information in order to hold companies to ransom. Unfortunately, due to their ability to act remotely, catching such hackers can be difficult as they don’t leave fingerprints at the scene of their crime.
Protecting yourself against these criminals is simply a part of running a business that uses sensitive and private information. Just as you wouldn’t leave the door to your office wide open with a sign saying please rob me, you shouldn’t leave your online communications open for anyone to read. Protect yourself and your will protect your clients too.