Thursday, April 30, 2009

The most popular ways for businesses to grow green

Saw this post today while poking around the Internet doing a little research. It quotes a survey performed by looking at what the most popular environmentally-related jobs are. While surveying, they also asked the companies surveyed what green programs they have been latching onto in the last year. A whopping 70 % of those polled said they had taken some measures to go green in the last 12 months.

The top 2 green initiatives had to do with paper use. First was recycling. Of the companies surveyed, 50% said they were now recycling. Right behind that was using less paper, at 45 %.

Now, there’s no doubt that using less paper is a better measure than recycling. After all, there is an environmental “cost” to the recycling process. Put into simple terms, it’s better not to have to print a fax (as with MyFax) than to print it on a fax machine and then recycle the paper. But either is preferable to your faxes winding up in a landfill.

Number 4on the list, by the way, was powering down computers at the end of the day, which 30% of the companies said they’d started doing. That’s one of those cases where convenience and environmental responsibility kind of fight each other.

The reason a lot of people leave their computers on at the end of the day is they don’t want to wait for them to boot up the next morning. We as a society don’t have much patience, and waiting a minute or more for a computer to come seems like an eternity. Yet energy is being wasted every second a computer is running with no one in front of it. All you really need to do to help the planet is get into work one minute earlier, let the computer boot up, and get a cup of coffee or say hi to your co-workers. Is that really so hard?

Of course, anyone who’s even considering turning off their computers at the end of the day to save energy really ought to be looking at replacing their fax machines too. Because they have to be ready to receive at any time, fax machines are always drawing power – 24/7/365. It may not be a lot at a given minute, but over time it adds up.

A MyFax account allows you to eliminate the machine entirely. You send and receive faxes through another device that’s already on – such as that computer you’re powering down at night. As a bonus you also won’t be tossing another machine (and its toxic materials) into the waste stream.

When you really think about it, a MyFax account allows you to comply with 3 of the top 4 most popular green measures. That’s a pretty good deal. Sorry, you’ll have to figure out the lights on your own.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Faxing is still a core technology in healthcare

Here’s something that may surprise you: Despite the impression we’re often given by Hollywood, most doctors and hospitals aren’t using ultra-sophisticated electronic systems with really cool, colorful images to document, manage and share patient information. They’re still using handwritten notes, the phone and faxes.

That’s a fact that is reinforced in this post from The Health Care Blog. In it, author Margarlit Gur-Arie says that doctors currently transfer data everyday using common tools like the phone and fax. While there has been a lot of talk about moving to electronic health records (EHR), so far there’s more talk than movement in a lot of quarters. And a lot of skepticism.

The extensive use of faxing is certainly a reality at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Medical Center. According to MyFax customer Sujit Kar, IT manager for business development and marketing at MUSC, the Medical Center processes 50,000 inbound fax pages and another 10,000 outbound fax pages each month. When you do the math, it adds up to nearly three quarters of a million faxed pages each year!

That’s a lot of information to manage, especially given the stringent requirements of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Mishandling just one of those faxed pages could put MUSC Medical Center at risk of a HIPAA violation, which wouldn’t be good for anyone. In fact, reducing HIPAA violations is one of the major reasons MUSC Medical Center got rid of its fax machines and switched to MyFax. You can read more about it here.

Perhaps someday reality will measure up to Hollywood. Until that time, it’s good to know there are alternatives like MyFax that can protect your information and make the whole process more efficient.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Taxes and Faxes

Yikes! For those of us who dread doing our taxes (and thus put it off as long as we can), it’s coming down to crunch time. The US deadline is April 15, so the pressure is on.

That’s where MyFax comes in handy. If you already have a MyFax account, you can use it to fax over your documents to your tax preparer’s fax machine – a device most still use regularly. A quick fax will get the document(s) in his or her hands so your taxes can be filed on time. Incidentally, faxes are generally considered to be more secure than email anyway!

What if you don’t have a MyFax account? That’s a good reason to try MyFax Free, the no-cost version that allows you to send two faxes of up to 10 pages each per day. Remember, the IRS looks on tardiness about the same way as your third grade teacher did. Get your taxes done now and you won’t have to worry about them for another year. Hopefully!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Out in the Midwest is the city I love best – MyFax is speaking at HIMSS in Chicago!

MyFax’s Director of Global Sales, Dinesh Kandanchatha, will be a featured speaker at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference to be held in Chicago April 4-8. HIMSS is the healthcare industry's membership organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare.

MyFax will also exhibit at the conference and if you’re there please stop by booth #675 and say hello.

Following are details for the event:

What: New Solutions: Fax Evolution for Healthcare IT
IT Healthcare managers are looking to target shrinking healthcare dollars towards mission fulfillment and privacy protection instead of administrative costs. Fax machines and servers sit front and center in this debate. The case will be presented on how a leading hospital evolved their faxing infrastructure significantly reducing their technology costs while enhancing their positions on electronic medical records, patient privacy, and legislative compliance.

When: Sunday, April 5, 4:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Where: McCormick Center, New Solutions, Room 5049

Oh and can anyone name the musical I referenced in the title? Bonus point if you can tell me who played the title role(s)–hint hint- in the movie!