The Problem of Disconnected Data in Healthcare’s Response to COVID-19

Blogs, Fax, Fax Elimination, Fax Evolution

If you’re on social media, stories about COVID-19 testing have likely been flooding your news feed. Varying perspectives on testing accuracy, timelines, trends, and results seem to consume nearly every other post. A recent story shared a woman’s experience after visiting a clinic for a COVID test. She registered, waited two hours but left without testing. Several days later, she received a letter stating that she had tested positive for the virus. Others commented with similar stories about conflicting test results. How can this happen, they asked?

Answers point, at least in part, to the overwhelming burden testing data has placed on our nation’s healthcare system. Clinics, labs, doctors’ offices, hospitals, and public health departments are all attempting to manage the sheer volume of tests and associated data pouring into their facilities.

A recent New York Times’ article points to the problem directly with the story of a Texas health department struggling to share complete and timely testing information between laboratories and physicians. “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.”

This isn’t necessarily surprising, as the integration of health data has been a known issue for more than a decade. While some progress has been made, it isn’t nearly enough to bear the weight of the problem now taxing the system. Healthcare needs technology built to capture and share information quickly and effectively between systems without relying on antiquated processes like paper faxing, printing and scanning.

At Vyne Medical, our core mission is connecting disconnected data. Our tools are designed to integrate disparate systems. As the work of interoperability continues on a grand scale, we give hospitals an immediate solution to the problem of mismatched technologies and data sets.

The Trace® platform incorporates tools that digitally capture information in virtually any form – voice, fax, image and electronic – convert it to a shareable format and integrate it to the patient record. Hundreds of hospitals across the country are currently leveraging Trace to manage information like physician orders, insurance authorizations, pre-registration discussions, and more.

Applied to the problem of COVID-19 testing, Trace is helping to:

  • Integrate fax data into other systems without the need to print, scan and manually enter data
  • Combine fax data with other record types including voice, images and documents
  • Exchange encrypted data with other parties and technologies
  • Eliminate paper handoffs and minimize the opportunity for disease transmission inside of hospitals
  • Enable hospital staff to seamlessly and safely work remotely
  • Allow for contactless patient registration

Fax technology will still exist in healthcare long after the pandemic passes. But to effectively address the data management needs of the future, it must evolve from a paper-based process to a completely digital, integrated process. As we work to transform healthcare, there’s an opportunity to embrace technologies like Trace to help make this data exchange more effective and efficient.


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