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Integrate Internet Fax For Better Patient Care

Nov 13, 2007
Many doctors' offices struggle when it comes to integrating the newest technologies. They want to take advantage of all that they have to offer, but are also dealing with a number of issues that are specific to their field. The need for easy integration, patient confidentiality, HIPAA compliance, increased efficiency, and cost are all things that need to be looked at when a doctor is considering an upgrade in their technology. Of the many technologies available now, Internet fax is one that can easily be integrated into a doctor's office with immediate benefits that ultimately lead to better patient care.

Easy Integration
Integrating Internet fax into your office is extremely easy. In a matter of minutes you can have an Internet fax number and start sending and receiving your important and confidential fax documents. There is no software or hardware required. This means there is no down time or delays while switching from your current standard fax machine to an Internet fax solution.

HIPAA Compliance
Especially important to doctor's offices looking into a new technology is maintaining patient confidentiality and HIPAA compliance. Unlike standard faxes that come into a fax machine accessible by any number of people cruising around in the office, Internet fax documents come into either a pin code protected online interface or an email address. If users choose to have the faxes come to email, they can be encrypted into a password protected ZIP formatted file for an extra level of security.

Increased Efficiency
One of the biggest benefits to a doctor's office integrating Internet fax technology will be the increased efficiency. Between lab reports, procedure authorizations, communications between patients, other doctors, and insurance companies there are a lot of faxes going back and forth in a doctor's office. And each time a fax is expected or needs to be sent, staff is required to walk back and forth to the fax machine. These frequent trips back and forth, especially when the fax they are waiting for is delayed, waste precious time needed to take care of patients. With Internet fax, all faxes can be sent and received from their desktop computer.

Many doctor's offices also have a shared line for their phone, fax, and not uncommonly their credit card processing terminal. This causes delays in vital communication, patient care, and payment processing.

Another feature of Internet fax that adds to the efficiency of your office is the ability to archive and store frequently used fax documents such as new patient paperwork and authorizations to release medical records. Once stored, commonly used documents can be faxed out with just a few clicks of a mouse. As for received faxes, only printing those that need to be printed and storing the others electronically will greatly reduce paper clutter.

Cost
Of all the technologies out there that doctor's may consider for their offices, Internet fax is going to be by far the best value for the money. Internet fax services can be found for about $10.00 a month. Some providers charge by page while others charge by the minute and most will include some usage with your monthly rental. When doing research for an Internet fax provider, doctors should examine the pricing to make sure they are getting the best deal. Most times the price per minute pricing model is more cost efficient. More fax pages can usually be sent and received per minute at a smaller cost than paying for each individual page. With an Internet fax solution doctors will also be rid of the costs involved with a standard fax machine such as fax paper, toner, and maintenance.

When doctors look to integrate the latest technology into their offices there needs to be special consideration for ease of integration, patient confidentiality and HIPAA compliance, whether the new technology will increase efficiency and cost. Internet fax is one technology that passes on all counts. All the benefits that a doctor's office will experience with Internet fax integration equate to one thing: better patient care.
About the Author
Brandi Cummings, an expert in the field of virtual telecommunications, recommends checking out www.Fax800.com, a leading provider of Internet fax services for doctor's offices throughout North America.
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