WestFax Blog

Check out the latest news, updates and trends in digital cloud fax.

What are the Duties of a HIPAA Compliance Officer?
What are the Duties of a HIPAA Compliance Officer?

What exactly does a HIPAA Compliance Officer do? Here is a list of the primary responsibilities that person must perform to ensure their organization is HIPAA Compliant.

Learn more about the Role of the HIPAA Compliance Officer
5 Tips for HIPAA Compliant Faxes
5 Tips for HIPAA Compliant Faxes

It is important to follow some best practices whenever you are sending or receiving PHI via fax. Here is a list of five key practices that will help you and your organization remain fully compliant with the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Check it out now
What is GLBA and How Does it Apply to Faxing?
What is GLBA and How Does it Apply to Faxing?

The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA), also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, requires financial institutions, – including many organizations that aren't traditionally viewed as such, – to explain their information-sharing practices to their customers and to safeguard sensitive data.

Learn more about GLBA here
API: How to get your ProductId programatically
API: How to get your ProductId programmatically

You will need to get the ProductId which is the unique identifier for your fax line. Each fax line has a different unique GUID (or Hashed ID) which allows you to send / receive and manage your faxes individually.

Get your ProductId and developing today
In What Ways is HIPAA Misused or Abused?
In What Ways is HIPAA Misused or Abused?

There are a number of misconceptions about the HIPAA privacy rule, though. That can sometimes lead to situations in which information is withheld unnecessarily (or even illegally), or barriers to the delivery of quality care to patients.

Learn more about HIPAA Abuses
What Personal Information is HIPAA Protected and What is Not?
What Personal Information is HIPAA Protected and What is Not?

When most people hear HIPAA, they immediately think of the privacy of their personal health information. In legal parlance, this is referred to as protected health information (PHI) or electronic protected health information (ePHI). There are some common misconceptions as to what exactly HIPAA does or does not protect, though.

Learn more about the dos and don'ts of HIPAA
HIPAA Guidelines and COVID-19 | WestFax
HIPAA Guidelines and COVID-19 | WestFax

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued special guidance with respect to the sharing of information about patients, including people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Learn more about HIPAA and COVID-19
Going Paperless: Small Steps To Sustainability
Going Paperless: Small Steps To Sustainability

As we celebrate Earth Day, its worth spending a few minutes to think about some of the small steps we can all take to make a difference in the health of our planet. If you operate a business, non-profit, or healthcare organization, theres one very important thing you can do that will help you achieve your sustainability goals: that is, to reduce your paper consumption.

Learn more about green practices
Whats New in HIPAA in 2021?
Whats New in HIPAA in 2021?

The HIPAA Privacy Rule was developed shortly after the law was initially passed, and it has evolved over the years to adapt to changes in technology and in the healthcare system itself. What new developments should covered entities be aware of? Here are some key highlights from the first few months of 2021.

Learn more about the HIPAA Changes in 2021
How to Become a HIPAA Compliant Medical Office
How to Become a HIPAA Compliant Medical Office

We all recognize that patient privacy is important, but in many cases HIPAA violations simply occur when healthcare providers often overlook some of the gaps in the processes and tools they use to manage patient information. Here are some tips for making sure your medical office is doing everything possible to remain HIPAA compliant.

Learn more about HIPAA Compliance in the office
SPF and Email to Fax. Why SPF is required.
SPF and Email to Fax. Why SPF is required.

If you use Email to Fax you may have received an Email failed SPF validation message. You may be scratching your head wondering what this is about. Not to worry! The issue is quickly solvable and a good idea to boot. First, we will explain what SPF is and why it is important you have it setup, and we will also offer some technical information that will help your IT staff get it done quickly and easily.

Learn more about SPF and Email Setup
8 most common reasons your port request is rejected.
8 most common reasons your port request is rejected.

The idea of porting over a fax number can seem daunting. Everything has to be perfect and if you mess it up it will get rejected for some reason. While it can be a pain, the reasons that a port request fails is actually pretty limited and avoidable. Here are eight reasons that a port request may fail.

Learn more about port requests
What Information Does HIPAA Protect?
What Information Does HIPAA Protect?

The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 is widely known as one of our country's most important privacy protection laws. HIPAAs privacy protections are covered under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. So which information does HIPAA protect, exactly?

Learn more about HIPAA protections
Using Cover pages in Email to Fax.
Using Cover pages in Email to Fax.

Great news! Last month, as you may or may not know we rolled out built in cover pages into the Print Driver and the Fax Console. Now we have integrated cover pages into Email to Fax. Now, adding a cover page is as simple as adding a little piece of text into your email subject.

Check out Email to Fax cover pages.
Fax Terminology Explained
Important Fax Terminology Explained

It’s easy to get lost in some of the three and four-letter acronyms that surround the world of business fax, healthcare fax, and telephony. Terms like Caller ID, CNAM, and CSID are sometimes used interchangeably, even though there are some very important distinctions. Others, such as DNIS and DID, are also important to understand. Here’s a brief guide to some of the essential terms that come up when we are talking about fax.

Learn about it all here!
How to move from Twilio Fax API to WestFax API in 15 minutes or less
How to move from Twilio Fax API to WestFax API in 15 minutes or less

Twilio Programmable Fax is set to sunset in December 2021. We will show you how to get your fax api converted from twilio to Westfax. In this how-to we will show you how to send a fax via the WestFax HIPAA Compliant fax api in 15 minutes or less.

Migrate your Twilio Fax to WestFax today!
How to Send a Fax from Your Multi-Function Printer (MFP)
How to Send a Fax from Your Multi-Function Printer (MFP)

Fax technology continues to play a critically important role in healthcare, financial services and government institutions. It has come a long way since the early days of dedicated phone lines and thermal fax paper, though. Medical providers, in particular, rely heavily on the security and reliability of electronic fax to stay in compliance with HIPAA. In most small offices and home offices, fax can still play an important role, especially where security is a high priority.

Get your MFP setup for Email to Fax today!
How to Send a fax with the new WestFax Print Driver
How to Send a fax with the new WestFax Print Driver

WestFax provides multiple ways of sending a fax, making the process simple and painless. Most don’t even require you to walk away from your computer. One popular method is to use the WestFax Print To Fax driver. It’s a small program that installs on your computer and emulates a Windows printer. Once you have installed it, sending a fax is as easy as printing a document.

Find out more about the new Print to Fax Tool
6 Reasons HIPAA compliant cloud fax is better than on-premises servers
6 Reasons HIPAA compliant cloud fax is better than on-premises servers.

Faxing is still a key component to interoperability. This trusted and reliable medium has served healthcare well for decades and continues to perform where other platforms struggle with standards and adoption.

Find out more about HIPAA Cloud Fax!
Fax Confidentiality Statements: Why they are important
Fax Confidentiality Statements: Why they are important.

It’s good practice to include a confidentiality statement as part of a cover page for any fax that may include sensitive information. Here are some guidelines for putting together a good fax confidentiality statement.

Learn why confidentiality statements are important
Business Associate Agreement
What is a Business Associate Agreement and Why Do I Need It?

If you are a healthcare provider, insurance company, or other entity covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, you may have heard of something called a Business Associate Agreement (BAA). The BAA is a critical part of making sure that you are meeting HIPAA requirements; and if you don’t have a BAA in place, it could end up costing you a lot of money.

Learn more about Business Associate Agreements
Fax HIPAA Compliant
Is your fax provider HIPAA Compliant?

Sending protected health information in electronic format (ePHI) by fax is permitted within HIPAA, provided that appropriate measures be taken to guard against unauthorized access to that information. So what exactly are appropriate measures? We'll go into detail and discuss what a HIPAA Compliant fax service is.

Learn more about HIPAA fax
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Mobile fax apps and HIPAA compliance

Much of the information that is shared between hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and other healthcare entities is sent using fax. After all, fax is highly secure, flexible, and easy to use. For organizations that are sending and receiving Protected Health Information (PHI) and other confidential data, however, special precautions need to be taken, especially with regard to the use of mobile devices.

Learn more about mobile fax apps
Capitol Building
#FAX your elected officials

As we enter into the 2020 election season, it’s important to keep in mind that our system of government is designed to be responsive to the needs of its citizens. Your national, state, and local representatives need to hear from you.

Learn more to make your voice heard!
Cares Act Scrabble
IRS recommends fax to claim tax refunds under the CARES act

These claims can only be submitted using traditional paper-based forms; there is no electronic filing option available. To speed up your refund, the IRS is highly recommending that claim forms be sent via fax. If you want a clear paper trail to provide backup showing exactly what you sent and when you sent it, then electronic fax is by far the best option.

Learn more about the CARES act claim process!
Ben Franklin
Fast and Secure: Submit Your PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Using WestFax

If you are one of the vast majority of small and mid-sized businesses that received a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), you will probably be submitting a PPP Loan Forgiveness Application sometime in the near future. For years, banks and other financial institutions have relied on faxes for these same reasons; electronic fax is secure, fast, trackable, and legally binding. With tens of thousands of dollars (or potentially millions) at stake, using WestFax for your PPP Loan Forgiveness Application is a smart move.

Learn More about PPP loan forgiveness
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Four Ways to Send a Fax

Banks, healthcare providers needing HIPAA compliance, and government offices continue to use fax routinely. Nearly every member of Congress has an inbound fax number so that constituents can send them messages. A foundational rule of marketing says that you should make it easy for customers to communicate with you; so it only makes sense to add electronic fax to your business communication toolbox.
We'll show you how to send a fax four ways.

Learn more about sending a fax
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Save your fax document from a BASE64 object to a pdf

Sending a fax is easy as you may have already discovered, but what about retrieving a fax document for an inbound fax?In this article we’ll detail the process for converting your inbound faxes into actual documents.

Learn more about API and BASE64.
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How to port your hardline fax number to digital cloud fax

You are paying for a dedicated phone line, fax machine upkeep and the paper and ink supplies. But you want to keep your fax number, and the process (you think) is a pain. Just know that it isn’t hard at all and here is how to do it quickly and easily. There is no better time to go to Digital Cloud Fax.

Learn how to porting process
Digital Cloud Fax Technology and Interoperability in Healthcare

From its analog origins in the sixties to the infinitely scalable Digital Cloud Fax platforms today that can send/receive/process and manage millions of faxes; Fax has never been as robust and powerful. The future of Fax and its role in healthcare has been a topic of much discussion but with the vision of an all-digital healthcare system still evolving, fax is seeing its architecture evolve to meet the challenges of complete interoperability.

Learn about Digital fax and interoperability
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API Values and Return Parameters [DECODED]

Unless you are deep diving into the SDK you may miss some of the enum values that are useful for implementing the API. What are Enums? Basically they are a list of values that can be used as an input value for a web service or they are presented as output values. What does that help with? It allows you to have some control over the flow. We’ll look at the most frequently used API calls and break down the values allowed.

Explore API values and return parameters
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What is a HIPAA Compliant Fax?

I recently had a routine medical checkup and as I was signing in I always look over to see if they have an old fax machine sitting somewhere. At some point a medical assistant asked one of the ladies at the desk if the fax needed a cover sheet. The woman at the desk quickly assured her that all faxes get coversheets no matter what. “All Faxes get cover sheets! No exceptions…ever!”. It's good to see my Doctors office take HIPAA so seriously.

Learn about HIPAA compliant Fax
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Most Common HIPAA Violations and how to Avoid them.

HIPAA violations occur everyday. The best way to avoid HIPAA violations is for them not to occur in the first place. HIPAA laws are complex and they are subject to continuous change. The best defense is a good offense and in today’s medical environment there are no excuses for untrained personnel and careless mistakes.

Learn about the most common HIPAA violations
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4 Ways to increase your productivity and maximize your business impact.

Every entrepreneur from the guy fixing cars out of his garage to someone running a consultancy knows that time is the #1 problem. Not enough time to get everything done. We cut corners, sacrifice effectiveness and in the end we hurt our business. These are some less common and not usually hit upon ways to increase productivity and maximize your time on the important work of executing your business priorities.

Increase your productivity today!
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Why HIPAA Compliant Cover Sheets Are Important.

So Let’s talk about HIPAA fax cover pages. Do you really need to include a cover sheet? The short and only answer is YES. When handling sensitive medical information there is no wiggle room with regards to HIPAA safeguards. There are no guidelines on what a cover sheet should contain if transmitting HIPAA protected information however most agree that the following safeguards should be employed.

Learn why cover sheets are important
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How to add the WestFax API into your enterprise application

You have your enterprise application coded but you need to be able to send faxes occasionally. Sure, you could just generate a PDF, Print it off and then fax it. But with just a few lines of code you can integrate faxing into your application.

Here are some simple instructions to get your application fax enabled.
Dead Printer Meme
When Your Fax Machine Dies... How to get Digital Quick!

So the old fax machine finally bit the dust. What to do now? Do you run to the store to buy a replacement or maybe this is a great time to go digital finally. Going digital isn't as hard as you think.

Here is a simple guide to getting digital fast.
Woman using computer
How to Convert Your Company to Online Faxing in Three Easy Steps

Maybe your old fax machine died or you are tired of dealing with stacks of old faxes that you have to shred every month and you wish there was a better way. Online faxing isn't new but if you are still using your old fax machine then now is the best time to convert to online faxing.

Convert your company today!
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Four Reasons You Need an Online Fax Service.

If you have worked in an office that utilizes faxes we all have that love / hate with our fax machines. Whether it is a trusty old machine that never fails or some fancy copier integrated fax that, despite it being brand new, still suffers failures and odd error codes and at times you want to bash it to pieces out in the parking lot.

There has never been a better time to switch
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Five Time Saving Tools for your Phone to Maximize Productivity

We are a mobile addicted population and we have no intent on trying to change that habit but we do have some ideas to optimize your use of the portable computer you carry around with you all day.

Here are five tools you should check out today
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Five Benefits of Cloud Fax for Medical Offices

The fax machine as an office appliance is outdated, insecure and a complete waste of time and money. How can you be sure that patient records are secure? Is someone monitoring the fax machine 24/7? HIPAA requirements are clear and fines for non-compliance are steep. Fax is still the best way to securely transfer patient records, but not with a traditional fax machine. Smart medical offices managers are making the switch to cloud based fax solutions and it’s easier than you may think.

Here are the five benefits of making the switch today
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Five Tools for Digital Nomads

Traveling the world and working remotely is a new hot trend. Whether your destination is stateside or at an exotic location you will find that living remotely can pose an interesting set of challenges. There are plenty of websites dedicated to digital nomadism but here are 5 easy ways to keep things running smoothly.

Explore the tools now
How Green is your Fax?

More and more businesses are going green. In the early days of the eco-friendly movement businesses would spend more money to buy recycled paper and materials with the expectations that consumers would utilize their services or products over non-green competitors.

Get greener today.
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Fax Broadcast vs. Email Broadcast

Smart companies have been using fax broadcast marketing for decades. A fax broadcast is one of the only business communication formats that enables B2B marketers to immediately communicate a marketing message and confirm immediate delivery. Since most businesses use e-mail broadcast marketing it’s important to compare the two in one very important category, open rates.

Learn the difference
Paper Mountain
Fax to Email: Going green and saving money too!

As a society we still go through too much paper. Even in this digital age we are still inundated with paperwork and documents daily. In contrast faxing has actually led the way in reducing paper waste with more usage of Fax to Email and online digital fax solutions.

Get green today!
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What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a United States legislation, signed in 1996. The goal of HIPAA was to standardize the electronic transmission of medical transactions. HIPAA also helps to protect against fraud, wasted health insurance and healthcare, and abuse. It also makes it easier to acquire long-term care and insurance.

Learn more about HIPAA
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Feds Kill E-mail In Favor of More Secure Fax for FOIA Requests

The Freedom of Information Act is a federal statute passed in 1966 that allows ordinary citizens in the United States to access documents and information held by the government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is making some much needed changes to the way FOIA requests are submitted starting March 1st in order to deal with these requests via a more secure method. The FBI is now completely abandoning e-mail requests in favor of good old secure fax.

Read about the FBI and FOIA requests

Smashing PC Office Space
Will Fax Ever Die?

In 2014 WestFax celebrated the 50th anniversary of the fax machine. In 1964 at the height of the British pop invasion while America was still reeling from the Kennedy assassination, Xerox invented the modern office fax machine. While this office equipment staple has lost much respect over the past several years, it still remains essential to most businesses. Particularly businesses that require secure document transport to maintain HIPAA compliance. Marketing departments in every industry are also rediscovering the power of fax advertising to avoid spam filters and present a unified communication approach to reinforce their digital marketing efforts.

Learn more about Fax
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History of the Fax, and Why it's not Going Away.

The origin of the “Fax” machine has it’s roots much earlier than the more widely accepted invention of the fax by Xerox corporation in 1964. If you want to look back into history over the mechanism for reproduction of a printed object over long distance you have to look back to Scottish inventor Alexander Bain, who worked on chemical mechanical fax type devices and in 1846 was able to reproduce graphic signs. For his efforts he received a British patent for his “Electric Printing Telegraph” in 1843. Inventor Frederick Bakewell made improvements on Bain’s design and demonstrated a telefax machine. The Pantelegraph, an early form of facsimile machine transmitting over normal telegraph lines, was invented by the Italian physicist Giovanni Caselli. Thus the first commercial telefax service between Paris and Lyon in 1865, some 11 years before the invention of the telephone.

Read More about the history of the fax machine