Freshly back from HIMSS 2017, I spent some time reflecting on the rich conversations that I had with tradeshow attendees. These top three questions were so consistent among the conversations that I wanted to share them, just in case you missed them at HIMSS:
Q: How are healthcare organizations using fax solutions to save costs or be more efficient?
A: Two words: Simplify and Optimize. Fax and paper continue to dominate patient information exchange, accounting for as much as 90% of all exchanges. First, it’s important to simplify their faxing by eliminating the security and compliance risk of standalone fax machines and manual faxing and replace them with a secure, digital fax solution. This eliminates unnecessary paper and the costly, time-consuming task of manual faxing. Second, healthcare organizations should optimize their faxing by integrating their digital fax solution with Electronic MR systems, MFP devices, document management systems or other healthcare applications. By integrating electronic fax with the devices and applications they use the most, healthcare providers get access to the right patient information when they need it and where they need it.
Q: What trends are you seeing with fax technology in healthcare?
A: There are 2 major trends in healthcare today: Fax volumes are rising (yes, you heard me right) and hybrid fax deployments. First, fax volumes are rising. As more patients enter the health system, attributed to more people having affordable access to healthcare and the healthcare needs of the aging population, fax volumes increase, too. The second trend is the shift to hybrid fax deployments, which combine an on-premises fax server with cloud-based fax transmission. Hybrid fax deployments are becoming more and more popular because they simplify existing on-premises fax server deployments and allow healthcare organizations to leverage the cloud for just the transmission of the fax. In addition to simplifying the deployment, the on-premises fax server keeps its integrations with EMR systems, MFP devices, and other healthcare applications and there is no change to the user experience or established patient information exchange workflows.
Q: Where is fax technology headed and how is OpenText innovating in healthcare?
A: As other forms of patient information exchange develop, such as Direct messaging and other forms of electronic exchange, it’s important that fax technology evolve to coexist with these new forms of exchange because fax is so deeply rooted in healthcare. When fax coexists with other forms of exchange, it allows healthcare organizations to begin to transition to new forms of exchange at their own pace, or as importantly, at the pace of other providers in the healthcare continuum, with minimal or no change to the user experience (or better yet, make the user experience better!). For example, OpenText has recently launched an innovative healthcare solution that combines fax and Direct messaging in a single solution, allowing healthcare organization to convert an outbound fax to a Direct message whenever possible with no change to how they send a fax today.
I’m already looking forward to HIMSS 2018 and the great conversations we will have then!