Flagship Axe the Fax trust rolls out hybrid solution

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust implements electronic fax system to replace last remaining machines

Fax machines are still being used by NHS trusts up and down the country

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT), the organisation at the forefront of the national Axe the Fax campaign, is implementing an electronic fax solution to replace its last remaining machines.

In September, the trust set out a highly-ambitious goal to remove the majority of its 350 fax machines by the beginning of this year in order to streamline workflows and productivity, improve security, and improve the timeliness of patient care.

Since then, LTHT has undertaken a wide-ranging communications initiative, and project teams have conducted trust-wide floor-walking exercises to identify machines and engage with key users.

Helen Hochstrasser, poject manager, explained: “The reception has been positive and it’s clear that services want to remove fax machines.

“By reviewing telecom reports to prioritise high and low usage areas, we found that a significant number of faxes are being sent across internal departments.

“We now understand whether or not they can be removed and will be looking at how to support our staff to work differently using the alternatives available such as NHSmail or eFax.”

The initiative has been learning curve, but one that we needed to go through as it will now enable us to help others by sharing our progress, best practice and the lessons we have learned from this ongoing campaign

The implementation of eFax will empower the trust to remove its physical fax machines and allow it to digitally send, receive, and store faxes more securely without making major infrastructural changes.

Chris Archer, computer services manager at the trust, said: “eFax is highly cost effective and provides a far-more-secure way of communicating with key stakeholders in a patients’ care.

“It will support the removal of traditional fax machines and ensure parties, such as GPs and pharmacies, struggling to relinquish their fax still have a simple method of communicating with the trust.”

Richard Corbridge, chief digital information officer, added: “We never underestimated the enormity of the task to remove fax machines across all six of our sites, but we recognise the eFax solution as part of our digital transformation journey, which will eventually see internal referrals made via its electronic health record and subsequently through the Yorkshire and Humber Record via local health care record exemplar (LHCRE) system.

“The initiative has been learning curve, but one that we needed to go through as it will now enable us to help others by sharing our progress, best practice and the lessons we have learned from this ongoing campaign."

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