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Nursing Homes and Fax Machines

Eric G. Tangalos, MD; Phyllis I. Freeman, RN; Sherry L. Garness, RN; Colleen P. Kosiak, RN
JAMA. 1990;264(6):693-694. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450060039017.
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To the Editor.—  The transmission of medical orders and medication changes from the physician's office to the nursing home has been a time-consuming process in the provision of health care for the elderly.1 During the last year we implemented a program that uses facsimile (fax) machines to transmit physician orders to seven local nursing homes. We believe that this model has wide applicability for physicians with large nursing home practices.2

Study.—  During a 1-month trial, a rented fax machine was used to transmit signed physician orders to a 159-bed nursing home. Our goal during this trial period was to design and implement a model for transmission of orders and to determine if this model was time effective in terms of staff at both the nursing home and our clinic. Another factor we needed to consider was the overall cost of this model (Newsweek. April 24, 1989:60).We used


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