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Printed copies after fax report.

Q Our laboratory follows up every faxed lab report with a printed hard copy. Some doctors, however, do not like receiving multiple copies of the same report. Are your experts aware of any requirements for sending printed copies in addition to faxed reports?

A I am not aware of any requirement for sending a printed hard copy of a report after sending a fax report. There are several things you should keep in mind about faxed reports, however.

First, the fax machine must be secure; in order to comply with HIPAA requirements, only persons authorized to see patients' confidential medical information should have access to faxed reports. Second, your laboratory should have a method for confirming that faxed reports are received. Most fax machines have the ability to send error messages if the fax is not received correctly. Finally, the lab should have a procedure for investigating any reports of faxes that were not received.

--Daniel M. Baer, MD

Professor Emeritus

Department of Pathology

Oregon Health and Science University

Portland, OR
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Title Annotation:Answering your questions
Author:Baer, Daniel M.
Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Date:Mar 1, 2005
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