Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has banned the NHS from buying fax machines, and has ordered a complete phase-out by April 2020.
In July 2018, a Freedom of Information request showed that more than 8,000 fax machines are in use across NHS in England. These are used to send patient information from one area of a hospital to another. There are many thousands more across other parts of the health service too, such as GP practices, pharmacies and nursing homes.
To support integrated accountable care, Trusts need to manage data differently. Replacing faxes with secure email or web-based processes ensures patient safety and cyber security. One of the goals of the NHS five year forward view, is complete paper-free real-time patient information at the point of care.
As we celebrate 70 years of dedicated NHS care, we know that NHS Leaders are committed to a focus on integrated health delivery. Statistics show patient health improves when GP, hospital, community and mental health services are joined up. And, budgets are more efficiently used at point of care, which makes much needed savings. Leaders know that digital technology enables transformation of health and care. Digital and IT systems help NHS staff to talk to each other across organisational boundaries.
In response to the Minister’s announcement, Richard Kerr, chair of the Royal College of Surgeons Commission on the Future of Surgery, has been quoted: “As digital technologies begin to play a bigger part in how we deliver healthcare it is crucial that we invest in better ways of communicating the vast amount of patient information that is going to be generated… We’ve seen a number of trusts pledge to ‘axe the fax’. They have proved that, with the right will and support, it is possible to modernise NHS communications.”
Product Marketing Manager at Netcall, Lynley Meyers, said “Netcall is proud to have worked alongside our 130 NHS customers for over 20 years. Some hospitals have benefited from three generations of our technology. Fifteen years ago fax was a common way for information to be ‘securely transmitted’. Technology has updated and now we are working to support our customers’ transition from fax to digital.”
The Liberty Platform from Netcall offers a solution for NHS Trusts to this fax phase-out. It is a next-generation customer engagement platform used by more than 350 UK organisations and 130 NHS hospitals. Trusts are able to manage all contact through their booking centres and provide end-to-end patient support. Our Appointment Management Suite works within our Patient Hub to provide an 'always on' portal that handles appointment confirmations, re-bookings and cancellations.
Learn more about our patient solutions.
To ask for help with transforming your Fax communications contact: email@example.com