Fax machines have become mainstays in most optometric offices. Despite the availability of e-mail and text messaging, your staff probably still relies on fax for tasks such as communicating with vendors, insurance companies and even some patients. If you haven’t done so already, consider updating this workforce office staple with an e-fax. Housed electronically, you and your staff can access the documents it gets sent anywhere anytime. Plus, if the e-fax service you use enables it, you can even automatically add the documents sent to the e-fax to your “cloud” storage, or online platform-based files or electronic records.
Here are some specific advantages of an e-fax:
1. You don’t need a dedicated phone line.
2. You won’t have a fax machine taking up space or breaking down. However, you will need a scanner (which will take up space and break down, but scanners are useful for other office needs, as well).
3. Electronic faxes show up in your office e-mail account so your office won’t waste paper printing faxes that don’t need to be printed.
4. You can see online contact lens vendor requests while you are out of the office via your e-mail. If you also have a cloud-based EHR system, you can make a decision to verify or not without having to call your office.
5. If you are writing a letter to another doctor or to a patient, you can simply upload the letter from your Word document files into the e-fax and then click fax. No need to print the letter, give it to your assistant, and then have her spend a couple of minutes getting it faxed.
6. All faxes sent to and from my office are sent both to our regular office e-mail address and to a personal e-mail account. This allows for easy record keeping in the event I need to check information from a previous fax.
E-Fax happens to be the company that provides e-fax service to my office, but I’m sure there are others. This has been a really good decision for my office and it may be a good decision for yours.