On any given day in the Baptist system, it’s not unusual to collectively send out 22,000 faxes in one week just from Epic. In addition, Baptist hospital, clinics, and corporate areas are also manually sending and receiving faxes throughout individual work areas. That’s not only a lot of trees, toner, and time walking back and forth to a fax machine, it’s also a lot of mental fatigue trying to process that much paper—not to mention the whole “did it go through?” question or the waiting-by-the-fax-machine scenario.
With the advent of Epic and the general advancement with scanning and electronic files, Baptist Technology Services (BTS) is now busy pulling Baptist into a new time. “We’re retiring many physical fax machines,” said Jeff Wilegus, advisor architect for Baptist. The project, RightFax, which launched in late 2015, involved BTS as well as other corporate teams who began preliminary work like upgrading decaying systems, identifying large volume users, and training team members how to fax through Epic.
In one instance, a single clinic had auto-set their fax to print—for years. The result? “Every two days, this team had a 10-inch stack of faxes. They were always backlogged and trying to catch up,” said Jeff. By transitioning to RightFax, the team not only doesn’t have an endless stream of paper, the RightFax team has helped the clinic cut costs on equipment and trained how to set up digital folders that mimic workflow.
And while the transition process sounds cumbersome, it only takes about one hour to transition a group from fax to RightFax. “It’s not scary,” he said.
With 20 years of industry experience helping organizations transition technology, including three with Baptist Medical Group, Jeff is accustomed to helping team members at all ends of the spectrum. “I have some people who aren’t familiar with creating electronic files and are used to faxing and others who are more sophisticated and glad to see us.” Whatever the level of expertise, Jeff says the long-term reactions are the same. “People love it and once they get used to it, they’ll call us wanting more information about functionality. They are really engaged and owning the technology.”
Unlike the days of waiting by a fax machine for information, now teams can access a digital file from anywhere in the system from a desktop.
In the future, BTS will focus on another lateral technology area called Enterprise Output Management (EOM). “This will help us figure out who’s doing what, whether they’re printing, faxing or copying,” said Jeff. Through that process, analysts can begin refining data, usage and identify new efficiency opportunities.
With RightFax, BTS is pointing Baptist in yet another right direction when it comes to technology.