The eFax Blog

Paperless Faxing for Healthcare and NHS | eFax Corporate  

June 8, 2017 - by eFax Corporate Team

Healthcare professionals will be all too familiar with the data security procedures involved in patient confidentiality, but your office’s technical equipment may unintentionally putting your organisation at risk.

Healthcare Faxing Regulations

Patient information and confidentiality is strictly protected under the NHS Act, the Health and Social Care Act, the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act. While once an office stalwart, your fax machine can leave highly-confidential patient data at risk of being accessed, lost, or stolen by unintended parties.

Because of this, it is important to keep your office’s fax infrastructure NHS compliant and as secure as possible.

One of the main security issues with traditional desktop fax machines is the physical sending and receiving of sensitive paper documents, which are often left sitting on or around community fax machines and can be viewed and accessed openly

These newly-created paper documents could fall into the hands of individuals not authorised to access them, leading to an easily preventable breach in privacy. Your organisation needs to be proactive and shouldn’t wait for a security breach to happen to make the switch to secure online paperless faxing.

Even fax servers present security issues. For example, when an enterprise fax server’s hard drive reaches capacity, standard procedure is for an administrator to “purge” the contents — which often means printing out the fax records for filing. These documents can also be misplaced or seen by unauthorised personnel.

Another issue is that many fax servers do not encrypt their hard drive’s data effectively, which creates another security weak point for the company. This can be particularly troublesome if the server is connected to the organisation’s network and that network is hacked.

Recognising the fact that your company’s faxing processes can potentially leave confidential material open to being accessed by unintended personnel is enough to warrant a complete communication overhaul.

Using eFax Corporate, our secure paperless faxing service, all faxes are protected with TLS encryption and are fully compliant with NHS Digital and other industry privacy standards.

Health care doctor working with computer

HIPAA Compliance

Dealing with international faxes is an everyday occurrence for many companies, but for members of the NHS who liaise with American hospitals or medical institutions, it is important that they understand and adhere to HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

This act places importance on the protection of sensitive patient information. For this reason, all correspondence between British and American medical centres must be HIPAA compliant. Failure to meet HIPAA guidelines can result in heavy fines or other penalties.

For companies that work on the periphery of the NHS, eFax Corporate offers an efficient and secure method of communication. For example, a doctor’s office may need to liaise and forward documents to NHS institutions or to pharmacies, whilst also requiring out-of-office access to these faxes.

Online faxing means that faxes can be access via email at any time from any device so staff members do not need to be at work to receive or send faxes.

eFax Corporate and NHS Compliance

The Information Governance Toolkit is a Department of Health (DH) Policy delivery vehicle that the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is commissioned to develop and maintain. It draws together the legal rules and central guidance set out by DH policy and presents them in a single standard as a set of information governance requirements.

eFax Corporate has completed the IG Toolkit Assessment and achieved Level 3 – the highest level attainable, meaning our faxing services and our privacy and security policies meet the standards and requirements as outlined by the NHS Digital.

eFax Corporate Secure Encryption

Unparalleled security is one of the main reasons why eFax Corporate has become one of the most trusted brands in business cloud faxing over the last two decades, especially among healthcare professionals. We know how to migrate your company’s business faxing to a highly secure and compliant cloud fax service and, most importantly, keep you on the right side of NHS Digital and HIPAA regulators.

And in light of the recent Ransomware attacks on the NHS and other medical institutions, it’s never been as important to make sure that your patient data is completely secure.

Besides optimised security, online faxing offers several other benefits, such as:

  • Lower business faxing costs.
  • Increase staff productivity.
  • Boosted security, in terms of fax transmissions and stored documents.
  • Reduced machine maintenance and improved IT team efficiencies.

With the ever-rising threat of cyber-hacking, your organisation can’t afford to leave communication protocols open to threats. The sending or receiving of ePHI (Electronic Protected Health Information) might leave your practice vulnerable to hackers or NHS security violations.

To learn more about how eFax Corporate can help with your business’s communication efforts, watch the above video or contact us to receive a free custom quote.

Team of doctors having a meeting in medical office