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Medical University of South Carolina

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Medical University of South Carolina

Company Profile

In 834, the Medical College of South Carolina (MUSC) became one of the first medical schools in the U.S. to establish an infirmary for teaching purposes. In 1955 it opened what grew to become the MUSC Medical Center, an 865-bed hospital in Charleston, South Carolina. The hospital is one of three entities operated by MUSC, with the others being the general academic institution and the medical teaching program. During the 2005-2006 timeframe it admitted more than 31,500 in-patients and registered in excess of 730,000 outpatients.

The Challenge

Describing the number of faxes sent and received by MUSC Medical Center as "high volume" is like saying a jet engine at full power is "loud". According to Sujit Kar, IT Manager for business development and marketing services, the Medical Center receives roughly 50,000 and sends another 10,000 fax pages each month, with the number of sent pages rising. "Just keeping the fax machines loaded with paper was extremely labor-intensive" says Kar. "But the real issue was getting the right faxes, to the right people, in the right department."

HIPAA violations were a concern for both sent and received faxes but even if everything went how it was supposed to, concerns didn’t end when the fax was delivered properly. "Medical issues have a long shelf life," Kar says. "A particular fax might be needed 6 months after it was received and tracking it down was very time consuming. Nothing was electronic – you just went to the file room and started digging."

In the face increased volume and increased scrutiny of its practices due to HIPAA, Kar and his team knew they needed to change the way faxes were being handled. What they needed was something simple, flexible and reliable, yet capable of handling the daily load.

The Solution

In the beginning, Kar looked at both faxes servers and Internet fax services. He quickly eliminated the former because he wanted an outsouced solution. That left Internet fax and after reviewing and talking to several providers, Kar selected MyFax. "We performed a full cost-analysis and MyFax was shown to be the most cost-effective and their development and Customer Support is simply outstanding."

The MyFax solution went live after 6 months of planning and development, and has been serving its 700 inbound users successfully for three years. The outbound service serves approximately 3,500 users. MUSC currently has 40 fax numbers feeding 76 fax queues and its old fax numbers are forwarded to the new MyFax numbers so no one has to remember a new number. "Sending a fax with MyFax is easy", says Kar. "There is now an icon on the toolbar that connects to MyFax as though it was another printer. People can send a fax directly from any application, without having to open any additional windows – or get up and walk to the fax machine."

The Results

Since making the move to MyFax, Kar reports the potential HIPAA violations have been reduced significantly. "MyFax has helped us reduce the number as much as I believe is reaslistic. And when an issue does come up we know about it immediately so we can trace it right away and rectify the situation."

MyFax has also helped MUSC meet another area of responsibility – environmental concerns. They’ve reduced paper consumption by a total of 60,000 sheets a month and saving the energy previously used to power the old fax machines. Says Kar, "MyFax helps us meet our environmental responsibility while keeping cost down. Everybody wins". MyFax has simplified the entire process of sending and receiving faxes. It’s something employees have noticed.

"Anyone who uses MyFax is hooked, and the support we’ve received has been excellent. I wish all enterprise-level tools worked this smoothly and were supported this well."

"We performed a full cost analysis and MyFax was shown to be the most cost-effective"
Sujit Kar, MUSC, IT Manager

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