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The way we work has permanently changed: now what?

The spread of COVID-19 around the world has prompted an unprecedented number of organizations to urge—or even require—their employees to work from home in the interest of safety. Prior to the outbreak, the number of people who routinely work from home had been on the rise for some time, with a 44% growth in remote work over the past five years alone. However, for many organizations in traditionally non-remote industries, the COVID-19 crisis has forced the trial and adoption of work-from-home structures where none had previously existed.

Can non-clinical staff really work remotely?

For healthcare facilities, the need to remain open to treat patients is paramount; in order to do this safely, many healthcare organizations have opted to send non-clinical staff to work from home during this time. Administrative tasks in healthcare, like appointment scheduling, referrals processing, insurance filing, and more, can all theoretically be handled without the staff responsible needing to be onsite. However, just because it’s possible for these tasks to be handled outside of a healthcare setting, does not mean that task is a simple one.

Though the healthcare industry has adopted incredibly advanced technology in some areas, in others it remains behind the curve; this includes the way in which data is exchanged, accessed by teams, and integrated into EHRs or other systems. The fact of the matter is, fully 90% of healthcare organizations today rely on fax machines for at least some communications.

Fax machines are increasingly tricky to deal with

The cumbersome fax machine has, at the best of times, some serious shortcomings in comparison to modern Cloud Fax technology. HIPAA compliance and security concerns, lack of scalability, poor deliverability, lack of job completion confirmations; all of these issues and more are a regular headache for fax machine users. Despite the headache, however, these issues have all been managed and dealt with every day by health organizations nationwide.

 But dealing with the headache of a fax machine is one thing, a sudden lack of access to that fax machine is quite another—and that’s what healthcare organizations with non-clinical staff trying to work remotely are now faced with. When access to physical paper documents is necessary for administrative tasks, it becomes incredibly difficult to complete those tasks on a remote basis. The reality that the COVID-19 crisis has forced upon so many organizations is that collaboration tools for teams that aren’t physically together will continue to be increasingly more important for years to come. And for healthcare organizations, which are traditionally so reliant on paper, moving away from physical document handling will be crucial.

The future of handling documents

The use of Cloud Fax has been on the rise for years; it’s more secure than traditional faxing, easier to scale, simpler for IT to manage, and offers a myriad of other benefits over the increasingly antiquated traditional fax methods. But the advent of a virus that has forced such an unprecedented volume of remote work is accelerating Cloud Fax adoption. For organizations that will continue to have need of highly secure methods of document exchange, and yet will also need to give team members remote access to those documents, services like Cloud Fax will become an essential fixture in our future.

If you’re a member of a healthcare organization that is struggling with remote document exchange and access during this time, please note that Concord is prioritizing the onboarding and implementation of services for healthcare organizations. As our healthcare professionals are working tirelessly against the spread of COVID-19, we want to be sure you have the tools you need for the exchange of vital documents, no matter where team members are located. Contact us today to learn more about the exchange and collaboration tools we offer, and how we’re helping healthcare organizations onboard rapidly.

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Concord Technologies