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.
Welcome to the digital age
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. In fact, one of the goals of the NHS five year forward view, is complete paper-free real-time patient information at the point of care.
In this 70th year of dedicated NHS care, NHS Leaders have committed to a focus on integrated health delivery. Statistics clearly show that patient health improves when GP, hospital, community and mental health services are joined up.
Efficiency to drive savings
The best use of the NHS budget is at the point of care. So, NHS digital transformation which saves staff time or finances is urgently needed. Leaders know that digital technology, including systems facilitating NHS staff to talk to each other across organisational boundaries, enables the transformation of health and care.
In response to the Minister’s announcement, Richard Kerr, chair of the Royal College of Surgeons Commission on the Future of Surgery, said: “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 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.”
The patient experience revolution
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. 15 years ago, it was common to ‘securely transmit’ information by fax, but technology has updated and we are continually working to support our customers’ transition from fax to digital.”
Patient Portal NHS
The Patient Hub on the Liberty Converse solution offers a solution for NHS Trusts to this fax phase-out.
It’s a next-generation customer engagement platform used by more than 350 UK organisations and 130 NHS hospitals. Trusts can 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’ patient portal for NHS. This handles appointment confirmations, re-bookings and cancellations.
To talk through how you can move away from fax communications and progress on your NHS digital transformation journey, contact firstname.lastname@example.org