Nephrology Processing of Received Faxes

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SOP Process for faxes in Nephrology


To ensure facsimiles (faxes) are received and directed to the proper destination in the Department of Internal Medicine, section of Nephrology. To assist secretarial staff when handling facsimiles and providing guidelines when co-workers provide vacation and sick relief. To help unidentifiable faxes reach the intended destination.


These procedures will ensure faxes arrive at the intended destination. The secretarial staff worked together to ensure patient information received via fax is routed to the correct clinic, physician, health care provider or pharmacy. There are many instances where faxes are not clearly marked; therefore, this SOP will outline the steps needed to mitigate errors.


On average over 500 faxes are received monthly on three different fax machines for the sub-specialty of Nephrology in the Department of Internal Medicine. This internal SOP is to be used as a guideline for the administrative secretaries for day-to-day tasks and to provide coverage to each other. This SOP is relevant to the fax machines located in GE441, GG621 and GE644. This SOP should be used in conjunction with the renal clinic staff on GE446.

Specific Procedure

  1. A fax is received on the machine located in GE441 and the secretary workstation in GE445 (or backfill) is responsible to pick-up faxes from this machine a minimum of two times per day. The timeline of once by 9 am and again before 2 pm should be used as a guideline.
  2. If a fax received has clear identifiers, (physicians/Unit) it is placed in the mail slot for the appropriate secretaries and corresponding physicians.
  3. If the fax received does not have identifiers or does not clearly state who the intended person/department is, below are the steps to be taken by the Program Secretary - Nephrology to identify the intended recipient:
    1. The Program Secretary - Nephrology is to a) review the electronic CDU list, b) review the electronic local centre list, c) review EPR database. The order in which these steps take place is at the discretion of the Program Secretary - Nephrology.
    2. "Last resort" faxes are to be returned to the sender requesting further clarification or marked no correct fax # and faxed back to the sender.
    3. Unidentifiable faxes on GG621 are placed in a common area mail slot close to the fax machine so multiple users can access print outs from a multi-user copier/fax machine.
    4. Any prescription refill requests are distributed to the physicians’ secretary and are treated as priority.
    5. Patient transcription letters are distributed the physicians’ secretaries who places them in the patient chart after the physician has signed off on them.
    6. Correspondence such as lab results, radiology reports, haematology reports, pathology reports are either given to the physician (their request) or to the physicians’ clerk.
Interro-01.gif If I was covering I would need to know which physicians want them personally and for which they should go to the clerk.
    1. All consults are to be placed in the mail slot marked consults in room GE446, the renal clinic.
    2. If consults are mailed to GE446 the envelope should be clearly marked, consults on the outside for clear identification.
Interro-01.gif As in mailed by someone who has received them as a fax? Why not just send the fax there then? This looks like an instruction to mail them from a fax - is that right?
    1. Any non-identified faxes that are deemed unsolicited “spam” mail can be discarded at the discretion of the staff.

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