Fax is an essential communication tool in dental clinics. Referrals, hospital admissions and discharge forms all go by fax more than any other method. Fax is ingrained in convention, to the point that dentists simply can’t do without it.
While nearly all dental professionals use it, fax certainly has its frustrations.
Paper jams, busy signals, changing toner cartridges, missing pages and questionable patient privacy, to name a few.
The real kick in the teeth? Traditional fax doesn’t work with the nbn™
Prophylaxis is the key to keeping your business running smoothly. Get prepared before the nbn™ arrives at your premises, so you can keep faxing.
All you need to know is: there’s a better way to fax: Online fax.
What is online fax?
With online fax (also known as ‘digital faxing’), you don’t use a traditional fax machine to send and receive faxes; you do it over the internet. You use your computer, tablet or mobile - much as you send and receive email. All you need is an internet connection and you’re good to go.
You still have a normal fax number, though. In fact, with most providers, you can keep your existing number (assuming you act quickly - see Section Ensure you keep your existing fax number below for more information) And you can still exchange faxes with anyone, just as you always have. They won’t even know the difference.
The ugly tooth about traditional fax and nbn™
You’re probably looking forward to getting the nbn™ because who doesn’t love faster internet. But it’s not all good news. Unfortunately traditional fax doesn’t work with the nbn™, because it’s an analog device, and the nbn™ is digital.
There are a few (unreliable) workarounds out there, and you may be able to get one of them working for you. But they’re time-consuming and you need IT skills and patience.
The good news is: online fax works with the nbn™. So you can continue faxing, without spending time fiddling with workarounds - time that you should be investing in your core business – looking after your patients’ teeth and their health.
Your process-driven practice manager will LOVE online fax
Why? Because online fax eliminates all the annoyances of traditional fax: toner replacement, paper jams, indecipherable printouts, busy signals, waiting to re-send, and that irritating dial-up beeping noise.
And most importantly: no paper filing. Because filing flushes time down the drain.
With online fax, there’s no paper filing. In fact, faxes arrive in digital format, just like an email attachment, so you don’t need to scan faxed documents then upload a digital file to your patient database.
In a multi-dentist partnership, your practice manager can forward faxes to the relevant dentist for follow up, then save faxed files to the patient database in just a few clicks.
Or you can give each dentist their own dedicated online fax number, whereby online faxes go directly to the intended recipient, which protects your patients’ privacy.
Here’s another way you can save reams of paper and loads of time:
Send digital faxes straight from Word or email
Every time you have to send a referral, online fax saves several steps in the process. And there’s no printing required. Your practice manager can type a referral letter and fax it straight from Word or their email app. Simple.
No matter whether the recipient is using online fax or traditional fax, your referral letter will arrive looking exactly the same as all their other faxes.
They won’t know the difference. But you will.
Receive online faxes wherever you are
If you’re a dentist or oral surgeon and you split your time between your own rooms and hospital theatres, online fax is a major benefit.
At the moment, when you find you’re missing critical medical documents before a surgical case, how do you solve it? Do you have to ask the NUM (nurse unit manager) for their ward fax number, then wait to get the fax brought across to the theatre? It’s slow, and it’s not ideal.
Online fax is a far better solution for dentists working across multiple sites, because it goes wherever you go.
Think of online fax as a fax machine in your pocket.
You can receive faxes on your phone, tablet or laptop, whether you’re in your own clinic or at the hospital. You’re not tied to the location of the fax machine so you can receive faxes directly and securely, anywhere you are.
Online fax is private and secure
When you need to maintain your patients’ privacy, simply give the senders your dedicated online fax number. That means no more faxed papers sitting in a tray for anyone to read or scoop up by accident, and nothing gets lost or missed.
There’s no concern about data security, either. Online fax data is protected by TLS version 1.2, which is currently the most up-to-date security protocol available. Data is encrypted using a combination of private and public keys, so it’s unreadable by outside parties who don’t have the right keys to decipher it. In other words, your patients’ private medical information is safe with online fax.
Online fax is significantly cheaper than traditional fax
When compared to traditional fax, online fax is a lot cheaper. More than $600/yr cheaper, in fact.
You don’t have to pay for the machine itself, toner, paper, or maintenance. Nor do you have to waste time standing around waiting for your fax to arrive (so no-one else picks it up by accident). Instead, for a low monthly fee, you get all the benefits of online fax: the compatibility with the nbn™ network, the convenience of a paperless system, and the freedom to send and receive faxes from anywhere.
Ensure you keep your existing fax number
Chances are you already have a fax number. If you want to keep it when you get the nbn™, you have to act quick.
The problem is, to keep your number, your provider has to physically port it across to an entirely different infrastructure. This will take 6-12 weeks (no matter which online fax provider you choose), and if the nbn™ arrives in the meantime, your old number will be disconnected at the exchange. IMPORTANT: This will happen even if the port is already underway.
To get it back, you’ll need to apply to have it physically reconnected. This takes time, and you could potentially even have your fax number taken by someone else in the meantime.
Check the estimated date for when the nbn™ network is planned to be available at your address.
Still have questions?
As you can see, your dental practice will certainly benefit from moving to an online fax service such as eFax. But if you have any questions about how it can work best for you, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 1800 283 361 so we can answer them for you.
Start your 30-day free trial now
Become one of our 11+ million customers worldwide, from sole traders to Fortune 500 companies. Start your 30-day free trial now