Healthcare Organizations: Electronic Faxing Is Better with eFax and Unite

Healthcare Fax
5 minute read

So, we’re all still faxing patient information. Amazing, isn’t it? Many years ago, CMS Administrator Seema Verma challenged the industry to make doctors’ offices a “fax free” zone by 2020. That didn’t happen. In late 2021, federal health official Steve Posnack told Bloomberg Law that at least 70% of healthcare organizations still use fax machines to exchange medical information.

Here we are, three years passed Administrator Verma’s “fax free” deadline. Heck, we’re three years passed the launch of a worldwide pandemic. If there were ever an event that should’ve given our industry the impetus to find a more convenient means of transmitting patient records than faxing, COVID should have been it. But it wasn’t. Faxing is demonstrating more staying power than almost any technology in modern times.

What does this mean for you? Well, there’s good news and bad news.

The bad news: If at least 70% of organizations across the healthcare ecosystem still depend on faxing to send and receive patient data, then you’ll need to maintain some sort of technology that can speak and understand fax’s language.

The good news: You certainly don’t need an actual fax machine.

In fact, there are several ways your organization can maintain fax capability — two you probably know about, and a newer one that you probably don’t.


On-prem fax hardware (BAD OPTION)

This is the analog faxing infrastructure we’re all familiar with: desktop fax machines, paper, toner, in-house fax servers, dedicated fax phone lines… and lots of troubleshooting issues. This is also the faxing process that creates the most manual work for employees, leaves a healthcare organization the most vulnerable to HIPAA violations, and costs the most to maintain.

Standalone electronic faxing (MUCH BETTER OPTION)

With this setup, your organization can outsource all fax infrastructure to the cloud and enable your staff to send and receive electronic faxes securely by email, through a website, or via an app. Additionally, with the right API integrations, users can fax electronically without having to leave their EHR.

eFax and Unite: embedding electronic faxing right into your workflows (BEST OPTION)

You can make your staff’s digital fax processes even more efficient, and save your organization even more time and money, with electronic fax capability integrated seamlessly into your staff’s daily workflows. Here are just a few ways this integrated cloud fax solution can vastly improve your operations and your staff’s ability to deliver outstanding patient care.


  1. Faster, easier process for sending fax requests to other providers
    • Imagine that while searching your organization’s Consensus Unite interoperability platform for a patient’s records, your employee finds a provider with vital data about your patient. But to receive those records, your employee has to send that provider a request via fax.
    • Because Unite integrates several healthcare workflows into a single platform, including electronic fax, your employee will be able to generate that fax request in seconds — create the cover sheet, attach relevant files, and even electronically sign the fax — without having to leave the app.
  2. Streamlined intake, sorting, and processing of clinical faxes
    • Now imagine your office receives a single ePHI fax transmission containing health data for three patients. That means three unique cover sheets, different types of medical charts, and other records. Perhaps some of these pages are even transmitted out of order.
    • This is another common workflow in which Unite can save your staff time, frustration, and possible errors. The intuitive interface makes it quick and easy to separate pages, group them with the right patient, and then easily drop those files into the relevant sections of each patient’s online record.
  3. Seamless integration between electronic faxing and Direct secure messaging
    • Finally, imagine your staff is engaged in an online discussion with another provider about a mutual patient, and they are having this discussion over Direct secure messaging. Now imagine that at some point during the message thread, the other provider asks your employee to send a relevant patient record via fax.
    • If your organization has a standalone digital fax solution, you can avoid the manual steps required with traditional paper-based faxing. That will speed the process to some degree. But your employee will still have to leave the Direct message app, transmit the fax digitally, and then return to the app to let the other party know the patient’s record is on the way.

Here’s why electronic faxing with eFax and Unite is better…

Now, if you were instead using the Consensus Unite interoperability platform, your employee would be having that Direct message discussion within their Unite environment. Unite is truly a 360-degree platform for healthcare data exchange. It integrates many of your employees’ everyday workflow activities — electronic faxing, patient query, Direct secure messaging, access to data exchange networks, etc. — into a single interface, where all of these services work seamlessly together.

So, if that provider asked your employee in a Direct message to send a patient’s record via fax, your employee could do that in seconds as well — using the built-in eFax solution and never having to leave the Unite interface.

And those are just a few of the reasons that healthcare organizations enjoy more efficient electronic faxing and healthcare interoperability with Consensus. Learn more about how Consensus means Better Faxing for Healthcare.