Ending the love affair with the fax machine

As more advanced alternatives become available in health care, we continue to have the following debate: should the fax machine still be the primary tool we use to communicate sensitive information?

On this episode of Boldly, Dr. Mark Dermer speaks with pediatric cardiologist Dr. Michael Giuffre and Rohit Joshi, CEO of Brightsquid. The three discuss why the fax has largely endured in health care and how advances in technology can improve it.

tweetable: It will be a process like many things that take their time in the health care world.

Replacing this outdated tool will take time, and isn’t without hurdles. Our guests will cover the pros and cons with different tools. When sharing sensitive medical information, privacy is always a concern. Rohit Joshi shares the great lengths has gone through with Brightsquid to overcome these challenges and ensure this information stays secure.

tweetable: The gap between the fax and electronic communication is so wide that the opportunity is upon us.

So, how do we push for more efficient ways to communicate amongst health care professionals and their patients? Find out all that and more on this episode of Boldly.

Key takeaways

How do we implement change in the health care system?

  • We are still reliant on the fax machine as a key communication tool, which is not secure or helping medicine moving forward.
  • As a result, there is a significant communication gap.
  • We have been looking for the right solution to replace the fax for years.

tweetable: Still reliant we are on our fax machine as a key communication tool that is not secure and perhaps not in the best interest of medicine going forward.

What are some of the barriers to replacing the fax machine?

  • Recognize the importance of empowering patients and keeping them informed.
  • There are quality and safety issues that go along with getting the patients this information.
  • Brightsquid has worked to incorporate patients in the picture.
  • The rest of the world dramatically improved their communication through innovative technologies—it should be the same in medicine.

tweetable: How do we ensure the security, privacy and workflow that’s going to make sense inside of that clinic?

What is the difference between secure email and secure messaging?

  • Security is a challenge and a common concern.
  • Secure email is probably the best plan forward (and most resembles the phone protocol)
  • Secure messaging is more like a text.
  • Getting back in touch with patients via secure emails can be more efficient than trying to call them all―it takes away some of the phone tag.

tweetable: Even if someone has access to their email, they're not going to be able to get in to look at that message unless they have the correct password to gain access to the account.

How do we protect patients’ privacy?

  • Portals are more secure than email.
  • The patient has to connect to an online portal to see messages after giving the correct password.

tweetable: In the U.S. or Canada, we have people that come to our office and make sure that we’re following very very strict guidelines for this.

Recommended resources

 

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Are you making waves in innovation or have a bold idea to share? We would love to hear your story. Connect with us at jouleinquiries@cma.ca to have your thoughts featured in a future podcast.

The opinions stated by podcast participants are made in a personal capacity and do not reflect those of the Canadian Medical Association and its subsidiaries including Joule. Joule does not endorse any views, product, service, association, company or industry mentioned in this podcast.

About the author

Joule Inc.

Joule, a CMA subsidiary, is at the hub of Canada’s health care innovation eco-system. Having brokered key relationships amongst system players, we are able to identify, curate and create digital solutions. We empower the adoption of digital innovations that have the potential to improve access to health care for all Canadians.

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