How DirectTrust is Embracing Fax for Health Data Exchange

“Everyone has tried to rip out fax, but you can’t rip and replace. It doesn’t work. There has to be a transition,” said Robert Cichielo, CTO and co-founder of etherFAX.

Healthcare organizations send most faxes today via secure cloud fax. Traditional fax operates over phone lines, while secure cloud fax transmits information digitally.

“In the age of internet and cloud, we have telephony in the cloud,” Cichelo said. “This way, people don’t have to plug machines into a phone line.”

Secure cloud fax systems offer benefits over traditional faxing, including integration with EHR platforms and elimination of physical paper handling.

Instead of manually faxing patient records through a fax machine, providers can enter their referral partners’ fax numbers into the EHR and send the data via cloud fax. The receiving system could be another EHR, a fax machine, a printer or another device capable of handling fax data.

“You don’t have a user walking up and playing with crinkly paper,” Cichelo emphasized. “They’re working inside existing medical systems, and fax almost becomes a metaphor, a euphemism, this nebulous entity where it’s just the transport.”

The Future of Fax

As healthcare organizations continue to fax billions of documents every year, a group of industry stakeholders, including Clark and Cichelo, have come together to develop a standard to enhance fax security and interoperability.

Convened by the healthcare industry alliance DirectTrust, the Interoperable Secure Cloud Fax Consensus Body aims to create a data standard for exchanging documents via fax across different cloud fax platforms.

This standard will enhance fax through cross-platform and cross-organizational identity assurance, standards-based exchange of metadata and federated security standards.

Read more from TechTarget here.


ETHERFAX® eliminates the need for costly network fax systems, such as fax boards and recurring telephony fees. ETHERFAX’s patented technology leverages the Internet to manage all business-critical fax communications.

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