It’s so analog. It’s so low-rez. It honks and buzzes and beeps like “going online” ten years ago. On a good day it can transfer about 16 kilobits a second. The scanners chew up documents, and skip pages. The results are hard to read.

But, you know what? It’s not going anywhere. Everybody has a fax machine, and everybody has handwritten paper records. Lives depend on them. We’d all like to be using beautiful 21st-century electronic medical records, full of clean, validated information. In the meantime, we’re using fax.

So, IT people: remember that your reports are getting printed out and faxed to somebody. DON’T highlight the patient’s coumadin dosage by printing it on a gray-background box! The home health care worker who gets your report by fax won’t be able to read it.

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