Did you know that a standard ream of paper, 5000 sheets, costs between about $20 and $50, depending on paper quality?  Let’s assume the cheap stuff, $20 a ream.

We worked with a client a few years ago that was sending and receiving 1000 pages of fax per day.  That’s $20 a work week.  Not too bad, right?  What about toner to print those 5000 pages?  A standard printer toner with a 5000 page yield is about $50.  For $ 70/week or about  1.4 cents per page, you can print 5000 faxes.

That’s close to $3500/year.  In a four year span, this particular client actually had over a million pages of faxing.  $14,000 dollars in consumables.  Is it worth $14,000 to buy and implement an $5,000 fax server?

How many faxes do you print?  How many faxes do you receive, as paper on your fax machine, then scan into a patient chart or client matter database?  What about the pages that get lost because they were grabbed by the person that wanted to fax on top of yours?  Add ten percent?  Twenty?  How much do you pay for document destruction, because the faxes that printed on your paper fax machine contained sensitive information, and once they were scanned and electronically attached to a record needed to be shredded?  How much time did it take an employee to go to the fax, sort the pages, scan them in, and attach them to a record?

We had a client that would literally follow this process to get a faxed lab report into a patient chart:

1.  Lab sends a fax to practice, 2-3 pages, printed on fax machine.
2.  Employee would take the paper fax off the fax machine, feed it right back into the exact same machine, and fax to their individual web based e-fax account, at $.25 per fax.
3.  Employee would open email to retrieve the fax they just faxed themselves, and save to pdf on their local machine.
4.  Employee would attach PDF from electronic fax to patient chart.
5.  Dr. would print the lab (and every other pertinent page) so he could review.
6.  Dr. would mark up the paper, and ask the employee to scan their notes into the electronic chart.
7.  Employee would fax themselves, again, and attach to patient chart.

Yes.  They were adding a $.50 charge to every single fax just so they could create an electronic version.  This client was averaging $2000/month in e-fax charges, and assumed it was just the cost of doing business.

There are better ways!  Think of faxes like email, and how you handle email, and it gets a lot easier, and a lot less expensive.  You have an email server.  You don’t expect everyone to send you a letter in the mail, which you then convert to a digital document.  It happens, and it’s still necessary, but email is so much more convenient for almost everything, right?  Why wouldn’t you take the same step with faxing?  It makes so much sense!

Disclaimer:  The youtube video is “clean” but there are some fairly obvious points where characters or background music are swearing…