"It is somewhat bizarre that in an advanced era of rapid and timely electronic communications many Australian healthcare organizations still use the fax machine as the most important document communications device," RACGP president Dr Frank R Jones said.
"The technology and means exists and it is only a matter of desire and the era of the fax is over, it has served us well.
"Fax machine, rest-in-peace," Dr Jones said.
According to the RACGP it is now a national priority for government healthcare agencies, all tertiary healthcare providers and all other healthcare providers to move into the 21st century by embracing secure digital communications.
"General practice has been equipped to communicate digitally for over a decade and we must embrace it now as the benefits for patients and practices will be enormous," Dr Jones said.
The RACGP’s position statement on the use of secure electronic communication within healthcare calls for it to be the preferred and default method of communication for all health services and government agencies communicating with general practice and patients.
"We advocate that services communicating with general practice work towards implementing two-way secure electronic communication within the next three years which is a very realistic timeframe," Dr Jones said.