eFax Corporate Healthcare IT Pulse Survey Interview with Rick Stevens

ST: This week I had the opportunity to interview Rick Stevens, director of enterprise marketing with eFax®.  eFax® has recently published the results of an enterprise healthcare survey. Rick, tell us the impetus for conducting this survey?

RS: Sure, healthcare has proven to be one of our largest vertical markets, and that only is increasing in the last few years as compliance issues, financial pressures and e-initiatives are motivating hospital and group practice IT administrators to look at creating efficiencies and identifying business applications that would be better suited for a hosted services model. So our motivation in conducting the survey was to identify the major concerns for this key customer group: particularly related to compliance, document management and mobile technologies.  

ST: What did you learn from the survey results? 

RS: One of the key findings was that fax still ranks as one of the top delivery methodologies for sharing documents, particularly with people outside a health care organization. 61 percent of the respondents chose fax as a top approach to exchanging critical information with nonemployees, with 26 percent citing fax as the number 1 approach to securely exchange critical documents.  Alternate technologies like digital file transfer were ranked much lower. Even email was identified as one the two least used methods of communication by 12 percent of the organizations.

ST: do you think this was due to compliance concerns? 

RS: That would be a reasonable conclusion. 54 percent of organizations said HIPAA compliance is their top concern, even more important than document management, information security or record keeping. And 42 percent said online fax is the most effective solution forHIPAA complianceand exchanging sensitive documents. In fact, 37 percent see online fax as the most undervalued document-transfer technology.

ST: What did you learn about their impression of mobile technologies?

RS: It’s interesting, because as a highly regulated industry, you would expect some hesitation regarding mobile technologies. But 44 percent saidmobile fax–the ability to fax from a mobile device–will be important or very important to their organization in the coming year; and more than a quarter cited mobile solutions as their number one technology priority for 2014.

ST: Thank you Rick. Any final thoughts?

RS: The high cost of HIPAA violations is forcing healthcare providers to re-examine all of their processes for handling protected health information contained on documents.  This survey reveals that the healthcare industry continues to place its trust in hosted fax services.