Caption: NHS Digitisation Kills The Fax
Health and Social secretary Matt Hancock has recently announced that the NHS will no longer be allowed to buy new fax machines, more importantly is that NHS organisations will be regularly monitored until they can prove they are ‘free from the fax’.
Given the rhetoric from Mr Hancock regarding his vision of digitisation for the NHS, it is no wonder that he is actively and aggressively pushing to break the NHS’s reliance on such outdated technology. According to a government spokes person ‘communication methods, such as secure email’ will become mandatory in an effort to ‘improve patient safety and cyber security’.
With a focus on security and keeping patient data confidential, the news that fax machines will be retired will no doubt be welcomed by IT professionals and Clinical staff. There are far too many fax machine horror stories to list but a pervading theme is often one of sensitive data being literally spewed out of a machine and picked up by anyone passing. This scenario is simply not acceptable in today’s modern world.
This decision, however well it is welcomed, does have the potential to open up further opportunities to remove other, outdated technology as well. Simply put a bonfire of old and unsecure or inefficient technology such as fax and pagers could result in all NHS Trusts operating in a far more compliant and efficient manner.
CommonTime’s CEO, Ian Knight, cannot believe it has taken this long ‘everyone has heard of the problems with fax machines and to a lesser extent pagers, slow, not secure and lack of coverage are some of the key issues, I do wonder why the NHS has not fully embraced the mobile trend of using secure communication apps such as instant messaging (IM) and alerting tools.’
As Ian mentions there is a plethora of modern solutions out there designed to allow the NHS to operate in a secure and efficient manner and yes CommonTime are proud to have developed leading mobile communication solutions which are now being adopted by a number of Global digital Exemplar (GDE) NHS Trusts.
The key benefits of using mobile messaging and alerting apps can be found here.