Do you still use a fax machine?
As many of you know, the Ministry of Health (Ministry) is supporting the health and disability sector to transition away from analogue fax machines. Patients First is working with the Ministry by doing a stocktake of fax machine usage amongst PHOs and GP Practices. We wanted to give you a heads up about this work, and that you should expect to hear from us in early 2021.
Communication is an essential part of healthcare delivery. Fax machines are widely used in the health sector and they have certainly served their purpose. But technology has moved on significantly since the heyday of the fax; they now pose several information and physical security risks and are incompatible with modern technology solutions. Health agencies have an obligation to align security policies and assess their current security practices, and the digital tools they use, against the Health Information Security Framework (HISF) guidance.
To support the sector to move away from fax machines, the Ministry needs to understand:
- who is using fax machines?
- how fax machines are being used?
- what are the barriers to replacing fax machines?
- what are the technological and resourcing requirements to replace fax machines?
To find the answers to these questions, Patients First will send a survey to key contacts at PHOs and GP practices. The survey results will help the Ministry to identify options for choosing better and safer technological alternatives, and to identify if there are any barriers to replacing fax machines.
If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please contact us.