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Novari Health Solutions Support Ontario’s “Axe the Fax” Initiative

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Novari Health is supporting the Ontario Ministry of Health’s move towards modernizing healthcare communications and retiring fax machines.

The Ontario Ministry of Health is phasing out the use of fax and discontinuing the use of paper forms in health care settings. Fax machines were introduced as a novel technology in the 1980s and widely deployed in health care. While most other industries have long abandoned fax, the legacy technology remains a backbone of the health care system and is used to transmit such things as referrals, reports, lab results, and other documents.

Based on the office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC), in 2021, misdirected faxes were the leading cause of personal health information privacy breaches, affecting 4,500 patient files. Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Patricia Kosseim commented “My office urges the government, regulatory colleges, and health information custodians to work together to pull the plug on the use of fax machines and unencrypted email that expose individuals to unnecessary and potentially devastating privacy risks. Retiring these outdated ways of sharing personal health information is long overdue, particularly when more trustworthy methods are readily available.”

Novari’s access to care secure software solutions are widely used across Ontario and elsewhere and are playing a big part in the province’s axe the fax initiative. From electronic referral management, central intake, surgical wait list management, medical imaging, and other areas, fax machines are quickly becoming obsolete.

Completely retiring fax machines in healthcare to the dust bin will require integration between many different healthcare IT systems. In recognition of this, Novari has embraced a philosophy of openness and a willingness to integrate with physician electronic medical record (EMR) and hospital IT systems.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of health care technology. Ontario’s move to digital communication alternatives will modernize and strengthen the privacy and security of our health care system, improve patient access to care, and reduce human resources associated with inbound referrals.

About Novari Health
Novari Health designs, builds, and implements award-winning enterprise scale SaaS solutions that improve access to care, coordination of care, and the delivery of healthcare services. Based in Kingston Ontario and with offices Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, Novari has become one of the largest Canadian based digital health solution providers. ISO 27001 certified, Novari Health is a Microsoft Gold Partner, with software solutions hosted on Microsoft Azure Canadian and Australian cloud data centres.

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