Sep 232018
 September 23, 2018  Posted by  Breaches, Healthcare

Hannah Martin reports:

Do you remember when the floppy-disk was more than the ‘save’ button in Microsoft Word? Or the goose-bump inducing sound of dial-up internet ringing through your ears?

Technology has come a long way since then.

In a New Zealand hospital today a surgeon can assist a robotic operation; an anxious child can go through a procedure before it happens through a virtual-reality headset – and down the corridor, a doctor will pick up a patient’s sensitive medical information from an antiquated, stuttering fax machine.

Today, the fax machine – or the ‘electric printing telegraph’ as it was patented in 1843 – has all but disappeared, but lives on in our hospitals.

Read more on Stuff.

Given all of the breaches that still occur because of misdirected faxes, I agree it would be better for faxes to be retired from use.

  2 Responses to “UK moves to ban fax machines in hospitals, New Zealand dragging its feet”

  1. I faxed my absentee ballot request in last week for the November elections.

    I could have snail mailed it – $0.54 (I think?)

    I could have attached a scanned PDF to an email. Why email “sensitive” information?

    I choose to fax it because that was the easiest, cheapest, and most secure of the choices, by far.

  2. It’s only secure if you punch in the correct fax number. When it comes to faxing to medical offices and labs, there are sooooo many mistakes made – and even when entities are alerted to mistakes, they continue making them. Maybe if people were faxing their own sensitive information instead of some stranger’s, they be more careful to verify the fax number first, but even then, I suspect a lot of errors would still be made.

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