Health Information Exchange Featured Article

August 06, 2012

Survey: Doctors Use Fax More Than Any Other Technology

I was recently faxing a document at Kinko’s while another woman waited behind me in line, and we got to talking about faxes, and how funny it is that we’re still using them when the office of the future was supposed to be paperless, 20 years ago.

But doctors know a good thing when they see it, and believe it or not, the recent annual National Physicians Survey showed that fax remains the predominant form of communication for 63 percent of healthcare providers, according to a statement distributed by MMRGlobal, Inc.

MMRGlobal said in the press release that it “owns numerous worldwide patents encompassing hundreds of claims for the use of fax in Health IT.”

"The reason why it's going to be around for many years down the road is that people associate fax with paper and a machine, when really it's a file format that's compatible with the phone network," Neil McCann told Erin McCann in a story at  So, "it's not going away, it's just morphing a little bit."

Even more, fax technologies complement electronic medical records (EMR) because they can easily be scanned and integrated into EMRs, allowing patient information to be sent to both physicians and EMR systems, according to the story. 

Since telephony and fax make up MMR’s backbone and infrastructure, the company – whose patented products and services include MyMedicalRecords Personal Health Record (PHR) and MMRPro professional document management systems – is poised to excel in this marketplace.

The newest patent allows patients to receive voice communications messages from healthcare providers through their PHR account.

MMR's systems integrate telephony, fax and the Internet, along with proprietary delivery, access and encryption technologies, making the company “the only system of its kind that can easily connect to any doctor, hospital or healthcare professional and patient in the world,” according to the statement. said that fax is still around, and popular, because it has global coverage and acceptance, it’s simple, traceable, legally binding and secure.

The company's patents also cover the transmission of medical records faxed to a Personal Health Record through most inbound fax services including those found in mobile applications for Android and iPhones and systems such as those found in Visual Voice Mail where fax is also received. In addition, the MMR platform features special patient privacy controls which provide paramedics and early responders access to permission-based patient files in an emergency through a separate emergency access portal. The newest patent also provides for patients to receive voice communications messages from healthcare providersthrough their PHR account.

"Hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent globally to find ways to efficiently connect healthcare providers and patients,” said Bob Lorsch, chairman and CEO at MMRGlobal. “In the world of health IT, the only piece of standard equipment found in any hospital or doctor's office is the fax. Even the survey points out that only one out of three physicians use a laptop, 20 percent use smartphones and 12 percent use iPads in their practices while all continue to use some form of fax…Fax technologies now integrate into the most advanced electronic medical records systems because that is the standard the majority of physicians still want to use."

The company’s IT patent portfolio also includes the ability to file, manage, navigate and get access to dental records, children's health records and veterinary health records for pets, as well as access to potentially lifesaving data in a disaster or other emergency.

Edited by Braden Becker