Health data exchange slowed by paper use

Posted: Oct 07, 2013
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According to a new HIMSS Analytics report, the exchange of health data in Health Information Organizations (HIOs) is being slowed by the use of paper and traditional fax.

The study discusses improving the collection of exchange of data in the healthcare industry, Healthcare IT News reports.

The study of 157 senior hospital information technology executives revealed that 64% surveyed said that fax was used to share data with hospitals not participating in an HIO. 42% of those who responded said that their print environment was “high effort.”

These significant results suggest the importance of the fast exchange of healthcare information. Hospital staff must be aware of how drastically the efficient exchange of information can affect the quality of patient care.

However Jennifer Horowitz, senior director of research for HIMSS Analytics, said that: “meaningful engagement between healthcare organizations and easy ways to share patient information, both in paper and electronic formats, still remain a challenge. We hope this new report will shed light on those issues and help IT professionals integrate their HIE strategies with their output/print environments.”

In some cases, respondents were concerned about the level of reliance on faxing, suggesting that manual fax – although secure – is out of place in a digital society and an industry that requires the utmost reliability, safety and speed.

Online fax services such as Sfax provide users with exactly that: reliability, security and speed. Online fax allows users such as healthcare professionals to send, receive and digitally sign faxes without the need for printing hard copies on paper. This makes it a cost-effective and efficient solution for businesses seeking to save space and money on bulky fax machines and paper stores, as well as dramatically improving the speed at which information can be exchanged.

HIPAA-compliance ensures the utmost security and safety protocols with which data is handled, allowing users peace of mind that the exchange of sensitive information is in safe hands.

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