Perspectives surrounding COVID-19 data and testing continue to proliferate, much like the virus itself. As providers find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer volume of COVID-related data, experts question the capacity of our healthcare infrastructure to accurately process and report testing information. COVID-19 is exposing just a sliver of the archaic data management processes many of our nation’s health systems continue to employ.
Paper fax presents data challenges
A recent New York Times article relays the experiences of a Texas health department awash in patient data but lacking the basic ability to pair information with patients being tested. Ultimately, many health departments are simply unable to process timely testing information using the traditional fax-based technology they rely on to manage and exchange patient data.
The authors of the Times article note, “Health departments track the virus’s spread with a distinctly American patchwork: a reporting system in which some test results arrive via smooth data feeds but others come by phone, email, physical mail or fax, a technology retained because it complies with digital privacy standards for health information.”
Paper fax is an outdated method historically relied on for secure data exchange, but which fails to fully protect patient information, connect data to the patient or convert content to shareable formats.
Fax will remain part of the healthcare landscape for years to come, but at Vyne Medical, we don’t think providers should settle for the process in its current state. Fax evolution holds promise for all providers working to manage data in today’s environment, and we are here to help bridge the gap.
Digital fax provides an alternative
At Vyne Medical, we believe that health data management must evolve from a paper-based operation to a fully digital, integrated process. In digital form, fax becomes a new means of communication with content that is searchable, accessible for sharing and worklist-driven to help automate manual tasks.
Described in these terms, fax is no longer the archaic communication tool of the past. Instead, it is a digital exchange method capable of sending high-resolution images in seconds rather than minutes with full encryption from start to finish. It reads and translates content from faxed orders, authorizations, lab results, and other medical documentation; converts information into manipulatable data and then leverages it to drive automation and workflow. This is the evolved version of fax that our clients are currently leveraging through the Trace® platform.
With integration tools that connect this data to the EHR and other health information systems, health systems can finally eliminate paper and give access to the right information in the right place at the right time. Solutions like these can be implemented in an affordable manner and without a complete overhaul to provider processes. The impacts can be far-reaching and include greater efficiency, lower costs and the ability to reallocate resources to areas where they are needed most.
Tangible change is the best way to respond to this health crisis
The time for real change across America’s healthcare infrastructure is at hand. Health systems must employ technology designed to capture and share information efficiently and effectively between systems without relying on antiquated technology like paper fax and outdated processes such as document printing and scanning. The fax evolution is here, and we are committed to helping drive this transformation.
Vyne Medical’s integrated health data solutions are being used by forward-thinking health systems to capture information in virtually any format – voice, fax, or image – and convert it into shareable files so it can be integrated into the patient record. As we work to transform healthcare – which we must do – there’s an opportunity to embrace technologies like Trace that bring together disparate information and make data exchange more effective and efficient.
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