This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
A fax cover sheet protects the content of the attached documents or specifies more details about the intended recipient. They come in various themes and file types, but the most popular templates include the standard template for speeding up communications, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant template for protecting patients’ privacy, and the sensitive information template for other highly confidential documents.
Free Downloadable Fax Cover Sheet Templates
Fax cover sheets are particularly useful for businesses with shared fax machines or when the recipient isn’t expecting a faxed document. Download the templates below or customize them according to your needs. We have also compiled a list of platforms that offer personalized cover sheet designs to help you get started.
1. Standard Fax Cover Sheet Template
The standard fax cover sheet template is perfect for when you need to send faxes quickly and without any fluff. It makes the subject and message the highlight of your cover sheet, helping you prioritize the contents of your fax and ensuring it gets to the right end destination.
|Quick and easy to edit||May not be adequate when sending confidential information, especially the information protected under HIPAA|
|Easy to identify the intended recipient on the receiving end|
|Includes fax topic and a short message for clarification|
Download the standard fax cover sheet sample. Fill out the fields electronically or by hand. Print the cover sheet and make it the first page of your manually faxed document or save it as the first page of your electronic document, and fax your document virtually.
2. HIPAA-compliant Fax Cover Sheet Template
To safeguard patients’ electronic protected health information (ePHI), faxes also require compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Our HIPAA-compliant fax cover sheet example is designed to protect information from accidentally being disclosed to unauthorized individuals, which would be a HIPAA violation.
If the fax is sent in error to an unauthorized third party, the cover sheet helps protect the information by preventing the accidental disclosure of the faxed document. Thanks to the information included on the HIPAA-compliant fax cover sheet, an unauthorized recipient will let the sender know they received the document in error without needing to read the rest of the content in the faxed document.
|Protects your company from liability by stating that there is ePHI in the fax||Key info must be provided, including receiver name, sender name, and organization, and patient’s name and reference numbers, which makes for more time-consuming cover sheet prep|
|HIPAA-compliant fax cover sheets have directions for the recipient in case of accidental receipt||Despite clear indications that the material is confidential, there’s no ironclad protection if the fax is sent to the wrong recipient|
|Several points of information on this sheet provide quick details for routing and protecting patient information|
HIPAA-compliant fax cover sheets must include a disclaimer explaining that the content of the fax has ePHI. They must also explain to the recipient what steps to take to ensure the patient’s information remains confidential if the fax was received in error. We have included an example of the disclaimer needed at the base of our HIPAA-compliant sample fax cover sheet template.
3. Sensitive Information Fax Cover Sheet Template
In some ways, the sensitive information fax cover sheet template is similar to the HIPAA-compliant variation. Both fax cover sheets:
- Clearly label that the information within the fax is confidential
- Include a disclaimer that provides information on what to do with the fax if it is sent to an unintended recipient
The main difference between the two fax cover sheet examples is that the sensitive information cover sheet will most likely not be used as a printable fax cover sheet for documents containing ePHI, but will instead contain business information you want to keep confidential. These include undisclosed partnerships, unannounced new product lines, confidential information about an employee or job candidate, or other information you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands.
|Provides clear information that the fax’s content is confidential||Faxing isn’t 100% secure, so despite the warning, anyone can take a document from a fax tray|
|The sensitive label also is an indication that the info inside may have time limitations, which may increase urgency on the receiving end||There are no cryptographic protections of this type; hence, the info can be intercepted|
|The included disclaimer is a layer of protection against unintentional receipt|
How to Customize & Use Fax Cover Sheet Templates
Fax cover sheets cater to various business needs and occasions. You may keep it simple by adding a space for the subject line and message or customize it by downloading a free template to add your company name and logo. You can download and adjust any of these printable fax cover sheet templates for use when each is most appropriate.
Once downloaded, you have the option to customize the MS Word template in Word, Google Docs, and other word processors. From the template, insert details such as your company logo and contact information for your business. Adding your logo helps recipients quickly recognize your business.
Here are the detailed instructions on how to go about the customizations:
For Google Docs
Download our template and open it in Google Docs. Since you are using a customizable template, you’re able to replace our Fit Small Business logo using the right-click command, “Replace Image.” From here, select whatever logo file you need in PNG, JPG, or GIF format. Change the name of the template by clicking the file name at the top of the tab to save it for future use.
For Microsoft Word
Download our template, and from Word, select the area of the image where you want your logo or information to appear. Select the “Insert” tab at the top of the screen. In the submenu, look for “Picture,” and select the logo file you need in PNG, JPG, or GIF format. Once you’re done, make sure to click “Save as” from the drop-down menu and save the document to your device for future use.
Reasons Why You Need a Fax Cover Sheet
Your business isn’t required to use a fax cover sheet, but this extra page protects sensitive information and ensures confidentiality. For example, if you send protected health information via fax, you wouldn’t want the person delivering the document to accidentally read private details while trying to figure out where to deliver the document.
Your cover sheet includes a “To” field that helps your fax be delivered to the right person, even if multiple employees or departments share a single fax machine. The “From” field helps recipients identify the sender and avoid confusion. If they need to respond, they’ll have the contact information they need right on your fax cover sheet.
Four Cover Sheet Template Design Services
If these printable, free fax cover sheet examples don’t satisfy your business’ needs, try a template design service or software. You can find plenty of affordable solutions that make it easy to create a unique fax cover sheet sample that checks all your boxes. Below are a few of our top recommendations:
Choosing a Virtual Fax Provider
Other communication channels, like email and text messaging (SMS), have grown in popularity over the years, but faxing remains an essential part of business communications, especially in industries like healthcare and legal services. However, fax machines are expensive to purchase and maintain.
Instead of investing in a physical fax machine, consider using a virtual fax provider. RingCentral’s voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) functionality lets you send a fax from a desktop, mobile, or web browser. Here’s what else you can do with RingCentral’s virtual faxing services:
- Add cover pages
- Schedule fax messages
- Check your fax inbox
- Fax directly to email addresses
- Receive fax alerts
- Scan documents with your mobile device
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can a fax cover sheet be handwritten?
Yes, and these free fax cover sheet templates are printable. After downloading, you can print out the templates above and manually write the details, depending on your preference.
Which business phone systems provide faxing services?
Does a fax cover sheet count as a page?
Yes. When sending a fax, make sure to count all the pages, including the cover page, and indicate the number in the space provided for the number of pages. This ensures the recipient won’t lose any page in the transmission.
While faxing isn’t the most popular form of modern-day communication, it still holds an important place in the world of physical documentation. Fax cover sheets aren’t required, but they improve your faxes’ chances of arriving at the right person and would also prevent potential HIPAA violations.
Use our free customizable fax cover sheet examples to add an extra layer of protection and professionalism to your fax communications. It takes just minutes to download and customize a template for your business.