Though fax machines may seem like an outdated piece of technology alongside floppy disks and neon shoes with wheels, fax technology is still vital for many healthcare organisations. Faxing allows businesses to transmit documents securely without worrying about cybercriminals and malicious actors looking to steal confidential patient data.
In essence, we are still faxing for three primary reasons. First, faxing allows organisations that work in industries with strict privacy laws (like healthcare) to transmit highly personal documents safely. Second, faxing allows people to send handwritten or hand-signed documents quickly and easily. Third, faxing is already integrated into the everyday business processes of many businesses — so it’s more efficient than alternatives like sharing documents via email or chat apps.
If we look at a 2018 study published in the Australian Journal of General Practice, we see that faxing remains very popular among healthcare professionals. Eighty per cent of the 204 participants in the study use either fax or post to send letters to other healthcare professionals.
The benefits of online faxing over other channels of communication (email, post & others)
Online faxing isn’t necessarily the first communication channel most people think of when they think of “document sharing,” but it’s the best. Let’s compare online faxing to other communication methods.
Email is reliable and easy to use, but it’s not suited to sharing large files. Email providers like Gmail and Yahoo limit users to 25 MB of data per email, making it difficult to send large documents, audio, video and image files through email. Additionally, email leaves you vulnerable to social engineering techniques like phishing.
Post is one of the oldest forms of document sharing, but it’s also the slowest. When you mail a document, you need to wait days or weeks for your recipient to get it. People can also steal mail from your postbox, so it’s not very secure. As of 2021, 3.09 billion people used mobile messaging apps. However, these apps have file limits, are prone to hacking, weren’t designed for document sharing and lack the productivity features of online faxing.