It is an unfortunate truth that for the next 3 to 5 years (maybe 10) faxes will still be required to run a medical office. In late February we rolled out Ankhos version 2.0 which included the ability to fax any document in the system from a user’s workstation (or iPad). It has been an incredible success with great return on investment in both time and money.
Since the end of February are that we have sent 9986 total faxes, of which ~8500 were medical notes(~1-5 pages) and ~800 were outpatient hospital orders(~1-2 pages). There are other generic faxes that go out, including one-off lab orders and medical records requests.
The old way involved using an EMR that required a fax modem which required a service contract and constantly broke down. Upon that modem’s final demise, we tried a mix of paper faxing and a series of electronic fax solutions but finally settled on Faxage. They provide an HTTPS API (extremely important for HIPAA reasons. Fax over email is not acceptable). The price is also excellent. With our volume, we require a hefty plan but they are reasonable with their pricing and realize that $.10 per page is ridiculous and insulting.
Another great thing about an HTTPS API is that if you decide to switch to another carrier at some point, it is much simpler to change out the interface module for one that matches another API (We had to do this from one fax provider who had some… surprising billing items). Also, We can tailor the fax interface with Ankhos so that the user does not have to perform clunky interface tasks such as ‘save as fax’ and we can manage our own queue, address book and monitoring platform as we see fit.
Keeping in mind that pages sent is not equal to number of minutes, I can provide some numbers on approximate money saved from human salary (not to mention paper/shredding services).We have saved $2,000 over this three month period in employee-hour-dollars by using integrated faxing. (This figure is a rough estimate and includes the cost of Faxage) . Faster faxing means nurses can get back on the floor more quickly. Add to that the $800 per month we were spending on our previous electronic faxing service and the savings are crystal clear. We still have work to do with incoming faxes which are an order of magnitude more numerous.
User feedback has also been extremely positive. Phrases like “I love it!” or “It makes me want to send faxes!” are uttered often, even 3 months later. Our users love Ankhos faxing and we love Faxage faxing.