Sending and Receiving Faxes in OSCAR
Documentation Copyright © 2024 by Adrian Starzynski
OSCAR can send and receive faxes using custom gateways or internet-based fax services and APIs like SRFax or RingCentral.
There is no ‘built-in’ fax integration into OSCAR out of the box, so a custom script needs to be programmed in order to be able to send and/or receive faxes in OSCAR. In this article I’ll explain what it looks like for users to send and receive faxes, and what needs to be configured on the back-end to make it work.
Some smaller clinics use their Multifuction Printer to send faxes via the fax printer driver (such as Brother PC-FAX). This option is not integrated with OSCAR and requires user to manually enter the fax number into the pop up each time to send.
What does sending faxes look like for the user?
If you don’t see any “Fax” buttons in eForms, consultations, prescriptions, or documents/inbox in OSCAR, it’s because faxing needs to be first enabled in the oscar.properties file.
Once the necessary fax options are enabled in the properties file, users will now see fax buttons around OSCAR (i.e. to fax a prescription to preferred pharmacy, to fax a consultation, on eForms that have faxControl added, etc.). They’ll be able to enter the fax numbers etc. and press FAX/send, but that doesn’t mean the faxes will go anywhere yet!
Setting up fax sending
The options to allow fax sending need to first be enabled in the oscar.properties file:
# Typical setting for faxing from Rx
# Typical setting for faxing from consultation requests
# Typical setting for faxing from eforms
When a user faxes something from within OSCAR, OSCAR drops that file into a directory specified in oscar.properties as fax_file_location= with the identifying filename and a .txt file with a list of fax numbers to send the fax to.
You need to have a custom script that runs on a schedule to check the directory for any faxes, then connect to a fax API such as SRFax, and send them to the specified numbers.
If you need help with faxing, or to have faxing setup for your OSCAR server, or for a custom faxing script solution integration such as RingCentral, contact us and we can assist.
What does receiving faxes look like for the user?
Incoming faxes will go into “Incoming Docs” in the Inbox.
Users will need to navigate to: Inbox>Incoming Docs
There are two sections that incoming faxes can be configured to go into, either “Fax” or “Mail”.
In this example we see that there is a PDF in the [Fax] section and there are several options to rotate the page, delete page, navigate, link the document to a demographic, flag a provider’s inbox, etc. In this optimized Incoming Docs screen, it is fast for staff to go through these faxes and deal with them accordingly.
Setting up fax receiving
Of course faxes won’t just appear in the Incoming Docs without any configuration. Since OSCAR has no built-in fax receiving setup out of the box, a script needs to be created that will run on schedule and download any new faxes from your fax provider’s API.
For example, any new faxes that come into your SRFax or RingCentral etc. number can be automatically downloaded every few minutes into the Incoming Docs section in OSCAR.
Contact us to have the incoming fax / fax receiving functionality setup for your OSCAR system.
If you have a scanner, run an on-premise OSCAR server, and want it to automatically save scanned PDFs into OSCAR, also contact us and we can help configure the server to have a network folder linked to the Incoming Docs section in OSCAR so that it’s quick and easy to scan directly there.