NHS told to ditch the fax machines

The use of fax machines in the NHS is been dubbed “absurd” by Richard Kerr, Chair of the RCS commission (Royal College of Surgeons).

The government has told the NHS they will be banned from buying fax machines from next month – and to phase out the machines entirely by 2020.

In July, the Royal College of Surgeons revealed nearly 9,000 fax machines were in use across the NHS in England.

Andrew Bruce, Head of Operations & Delivery at SQS commented, “Banning archaic technologies like fax machines from the NHS may seem like a sensible move, but it’s vital that replacement means of communication are reliable and secure. Usability and reliability are critical in NHS communications and medical staff will only use methods that are user-friendly and effective. Otherwise, workarounds and unauthorised third party applications, like WhatsApp, will overtake secure channels.

“To combat this, clinicians and other staff who will be using the technology must be involved from the very early stages, so that any solution – whether it is a new document management system or AI-enabled diagnostics – is fit for purpose and built specifically to fit their needs. The challenge with any public sector technology project is that it’s funded by public money, and understandably under scrutiny. So the priority for any project must be ensuring solutions will work for the people using them every day, the higher the chance of success.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine