In June 2019 the Ministry of Health Accident Compensation Commission released a joint communique defining secure communication within the New Zealand health sector, specifically in regards to email and faxing.
The two recommendations made by the Ministry were that:
- All emails be transmitted using Transport Layer Security (TSS) no later than January 2020.
- All analogue faxing to be migrated to a fully digital security-assessed communications solution such as email no later than December 2020
We have complied with the first recommendation and notified the Ministry of Health as requested.
To implement the second recommendation, we will be phasing out all faxing, including faxing of laboratory results, by the end of this year and will be offering a secure email alternative. We will continue to offer other result delivery methods including HL7 electronic results.
HL7 electronic results are the only delivery method where the laboratory is notified that you have received the result and, as such, is our preferred option.
Over the next few months you will be contacted by the laboratory to obtain the necessary information to enable us to send you secure emails. This may be a good opportunity for you to review your processes for receiving such results.
In addition to laboratory results, there may be other exchanges with the laboratory involving faxing, for example requesting a home visit; we will also be reviewing these and providing you with the alternative solution.