Telemedicine is quickly becoming a preferred choice among the health-conscious. With that said, the medical industry has had to adjust to our changing norms. Healthcare professionals are getting used to conducting their practices through the internet. Patients are also adapting to new ways of acquiring medicine.
Doctors and other qualified medical staff can send documents to drug stores that use fax machines. This guide explains how to fax a prescription to a pharmacy with minimal effort.
- Who Can Send Prescriptions to a Pharmacy?
- Fax vs Emailed Prescriptions: Which Is Better?
- Why Do Pharmacies Still Use Fax?
- How to Fax Prescriptions With iFax
Who Can Send Prescriptions to a Pharmacy?
Before faxing a prescription, you must learn several things surrounding the process. First, you should find out if you can fax medical documents to a pharmacy. Only a select few can legally initiate this process. That’s because there are restrictions to prevent medical fraud, substance abuse, and the unlawful distribution of restricted drugs.
If you fit any of the descriptions below, you may proceed to the next part of the guide.
Hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities are best qualified to fax an e-prescription to a pharmacy. That’s due to the level of trust these establishments have built in the industry.
When these places send faxes to a pharmacy, the documents undergo less stringent verification and ultimately get fulfilled much faster. If you’re a patient, you can take advantage of that by requesting your medical provider to fax your prescription. However, remember that this may only be possible at some healthcare facilities.
Generally, physicians are considered authorized representatives of the institutions that support their practice. Doctors also write your prescriptions based on prior consultations.
For these reasons, doctors are uniquely qualified to fax medical documents to pharmacies. The next time you’re going in as a patient, you may ask your physician to forward your medical information to the pharmacy of your choice. There’s no guarantee they’ll agree, but it’s an option worth considering.
As the primary recipients of a prescription, patients are responsible for getting it fulfilled at a pharmacy. Most people go to the establishment themselves and hand the medical document to a pharmacist. In rare cases, faxing may be a better option for patients.
You can make sure the process goes smoothly by calling the pharmacy beforehand and asking if it’s possible to send them a fax. It may be easier if you’re a regular customer and the staff already know you. Otherwise, the pharmacy may require identity verification before they can accommodate your request.
Note that pharmacies may not accept faxed prescriptions from patients for restricted or controlled substances. Pharmacies always require a doctor’s physical or electronic signature for prescriptions. Without this, you can’t get access to the medication.
Qualified patient representatives
In cases where the patient cannot fax a prescription themselves, a qualified representative may step in and take over. For example, a parent can send a prescription on behalf of a minor. Note that in this circumstance, the pharmacy may require additional proof to verify the person is acting on behalf of a patient.
This verification may come in the form of an authorization letter, a phone call with the patient, or a request for the representative’s ID cards.
Fax vs Emailed Prescriptions: Which Is Better?
In our hyperconnected age, you may wonder why some still use fax to send and receive prescriptions. After all, email emerged as a direct competitor to fax machines in the last three decades.
Let’s compare these two methods.
Emailing a prescription
While emailing a medical document may seem more straightforward than faxing, it’s more complex than it appears.
First, a particular pharmacy may not have a professional email service that you can use to communicate. They may redirect you to a corporate email address if you insist on using email. That could result in a longer wait time as your prescription might go through several people before reaching your local pharmacy.
If the pharmacy does happen to have a dedicated email address, there’s no assurance that the staff will open and read your email promptly. Pharmacies can be busy places, and they often prioritize in-person customers.
Lastly, the issue of data privacy in emails is sensitive, and for a good reason. Even as email providers promise ironclad security measures, it’s undeniable that there have been issues with email security over the years. That’s why it’s worth looking at a more secure solution.
Faxing a prescription
There’s a common misconception that fax is inferior to email. That may be because many consider the latter the successor to legacy fax machines. While it’s true that email has found a place in our work and personal lives, this doesn’t mean the end of faxing.
The advent of the internet has spurred many innovations, including online faxing. With a service like iFax, you can connect with institutions reliant on faxing as a secure and dependable communication tool.
It may be easier to fax prescriptions than it first appears. Many pharmacies have in-store fax machines that they use to receive medical documents. You’d only need their fax numbers to send one-time faxes to these establishments.
Faxing may be the preferred method for many pharmacies, as most online fax services operating today are HIPAA compliant. They are also protected by a high-level 256-bit encryption. These features are necessary in the medical industry. On top of that, digital faxing records help with document management.
Why Do Pharmacies Still Use Fax?
The medical industry puts a premium on efficiency and reliability. Fax machines provide these benefits and more. As mentioned in the previous section, many modern online faxing methods comply with strict HIPAA regulations, which is necessary for the industry.
In addition, the paper-based nature of fax machines makes them less susceptible to interference or tampering. If you send a prescription via fax, you can be sure that the pharmacy will receive it without anyone else gaining access to the document. You, your medical provider, and the pharmacy will be the only three entities with a copy of your prescription.
As a side note, pharmacies attest to the utility of fax machines during emergencies. For example, customers can route messages to the establishment’s fax number when primary phone lines go down. With these advantages, it’s clear why fax is here to stay for drugstores and many other organizations.
How to Fax Prescriptions with iFax
- Go to ifaxapp.com and navigate to the Solutions drop-down menu.
- Click the One-Time Fax option.
- You should see the one-time fax interface, which you can interact with in various ways.
- To start, enter the pharmacy’s fax number.
- Next, fill out the rest of the required details. You can also type a custom message or insert an electronic signature.
- Find the attachment space, then drag and drop a copy of your prescription. Alternatively, you may click on the area to select a file from your computer or mobile device.
- Finally, click Continue to pay via secure checkout. You’ll only pay once for this one-time fax.