Why can’t I view incoming efaxes in eClinicalWorks?

Cristián T February 11, 2014
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So my boss at work is able to access the efaxes for patients from the computer at her office using eClinicalWorks. Since I work from home, I have to use my laptop in order to use eClinicalWorks and access the account I have to work with. Unfortunately, when I went to the Fax Inbox page, everything was empty but not before getting two error messages stating “Failed to access fax inbox folder ‘\\FaxServer\InBox’. Please make sure the folder exists.” and “Could not read path \\FaxServer\InBox. Make sure the path is correct and you have permission to access this folder.” This provides kind of a problem for me, since I can’t access the efaxes of patients. I did speak to eClinicalWorks’ technical support line telling them what the issue was, and although what they said wasn’t very clear to me, what I got from it was that what I’m trying to do is prohibited for security reasons but there was another way of doing it that doesn’t breach the TOS. It was very confusing and eventually I realized that the technical support line would be unable to help me. I’m still getting used to eClincalWorks so when you explain what I have to do to fix the problem at hand, please use basic, user-friendly terminology so that I can understand more clearly. Thank you very much for your help.

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  1. Bruce E
    February 11, 2014 at 4:00 am

    Based on the error messages, I am assuming that you are not connecting to your work network via a VPN. It appears that the software is looking for a Windows machine (or SAMBA server) with the name FaxServer that has a share (possibly restricted by user) named Inbox which it cannot find. If you are connected via a VPN, it is most likely a permissions issue on the Inbox share. If you are not using a VPN, the machine simply does not exist on the network that it can see. If you connect to the work network via a VPN and you have the appropriate permissions to access the Inbox share, everything should work.

    • Cristián T
      February 11, 2014 at 4:17 am

      So how exactly should I get started on doing that? And how do I know if I already have a VPN set up for me?

    • Bruce E
      February 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Are you simply connected to the Internet from home when you are using this software or are you doing anything special to connect to the workplace network? Are you running a Xen client to connect to work over the Internet? You would know this because you would need to explicitly start the client on your laptop and log into the server at work and you would run all of your authorized programs from within that client. In this case, you are actually running the software in a virtual machine on the server at work and remotely controlling it from your laptop.

      If you are using a VPN, again you would be initiating that connection yourself in the vast majority of cases. If you are using a laptop that is dedicated for this one use (connecting to your work systems to use this one particular piece of software), it could be set up to automatically start the VPN connection, but that is fairly rare in my experience. Most laptops tend to be used for general computing functions and only connect to a workplace network for specific purposes at which time the user will start the VPN connection. This can also be set up so the shortcut used to start the application runs a script first to initiate the VPN connection. In either case, it should end up asking you to log into the VPN server at the other end before proceeding.

      If these scenarios do not sound familiar, you probably don't have a VPN set up. To set one up, you need to either have a router/firewall capable of VPN or you would need to set up a dedicated VPN device inside of the work network and create firewall rules to allow VPN connections to that device making sure you have appropriate security controls in place (accounts with secure passwords). You would then need to set up the laptop to connect to that VPN device inside of the network. Once the laptop connects to the VPN, all other servers and services on the work network will become available to the laptop user.

    • Cristián T
      February 18, 2014 at 4:07 am

      I am connected to my home Internet connection when I open the program. I am not running a Xen client, but I am running it through Windows Server 2003. I'm very confused with what you mean in the last paragraph you wrote. I don't know how I would set up a VPN in the server and allow my router or firewall to support a VPN. I'm just very confused about that part. Please explain it a little more clearly. I need to know what to do to get this to work.

    • Bruce E
      February 18, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      I am referring to your firewall and/or router at work, not at your home. It either needs to accept a VPN connection from your computer over the Internet to allow you a secure connection to your work network or it has to allow a VPN connection in to your work network to connect you to a VPN server on your work network which would allow your computer to see the servers and network services there. That is where the server the eClinicalWorks software is looking for should exist.

      We know the FaxServer machine does exist on the work network since your boss can connect to it from her office. What we need to be able to do is connect your laptop to the same network when you are not at the office. That is what the VPN will do for you.

      If you have a dedicated IT guy (or gal) at the office, you need to talk to them about how you can connect via VPN to the office. If you don't have a go-to tech guy in the office who is handling this stuff, you will need to find someone who knows how the office network is set up so you can set up a VPN. Once that is done, you should no longer receive the error.