Fax machines alive and well in some doctor’s offices

Regulations and technological limitations and stubbornness get much of the credit

June 13, 2018

In medical facilities across the country, staff are placing physical medical records in a tray, dialing in a number, pressing send, and hoping to avoid a paper jam, according to an article on the Slate website.

The medical industry’s preference for fax may have something to do with HIPAA regulations. A post about the HIPAA Privacy Rule on the HHS website explicitly names fax as an acceptable method of transmission of medical records, test results, instructions, and treatment regimens. 

Some interpret the wording of the rule to mean that fax is an acceptably secure medium while email is not. Not only are faxes considered a more secure medium than email, they can also be more convenient when dealing with physical patient files. 

But part of the reason may just be tradition, as many older doctors simply feel comfortable with the technology.

Read the article.



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