January 28, 2020

Communication Director and MEDITECH Expanse: Understand the Changes

Written by: 

Kevin Frazier

, Manager of Client Services

This 3 part series covers essential points of transitioning Communication Director to work with MEDITECH Expanse.  While written for existing Communication Director and MEDITECH customers, some of the information here may also be valuable to those moving to MEDITECH for the first time or considering Communication Director as their report distribution software. Watch the short clip or read the written commentary on the subject.

What Could Change?

There are two main portions of Communication Director that are affected by transitioning to MEDITECH Expanse. These are SmartRoute for automated distribution and DesktopFax for on-demand faxing out of MEDITECH.

Outlined below some of the key changes:


  • With SmartRoute, you may try to get your new reports to be identical to your existing reports, but the report numbers, account numbers and medical record numbers may have a formatting change. They might look the same, but the number may be in a completely different format.
  • In the MEDITECH Expanse environment, we’re also much more reliant on the Post Script print driver for the delivery of reports to Communication Director. We’ll need to change the format of your SmartRoutes to adopt Post Script. It has a much greater font-set support and works better with the MEDITECH Document Manager.


  • From the DesktopFax side, there is a completely new printing process in MEDITECH which requires MEDITECH staff to help set up.
  • Depending on the platform you’re on now, your users may be seeing DesktopFax for the very first time. This is especially true for MAGIC customers, and creates a training portion for the migration that we’ll need to keep an eye on.
  • Communication Director 4 platform (4.0 or 4.1 depending on your environment) is required to use DesktopFax with MEDITECH Expanse.
  • It’s important to note that your fax volume in DesktopFax may increase. For instance, you might have new users on DesktopFax as you deploy Expanse organization wide. Examples of new DesktopFax users are physician offices, clinics and out-patient departments. Your non-clinical departments (materials management, facilities, accounting, etc.) will still need to send faxes, and you’ll still need to send faxes to providers outside the Expanse environment and other entities like insurance companies. It’s also a good time to consolidate faxing to one solution, especially if you had a best-of-breed environment before moving to Expanse. Communication Director can handle your faxing and report distribution needs enterprise-wide and can integrate with many standard systems.

Key Takeaways

Communication Director is the recommended report distribution and faxing system for MEDITECH Expanse, but making sure your system is set-up to work with Expanse is necessary. Customers need to be on Version 4 or 4.1 and should expect changes with their existing SmartRoute and DesktopFax configurations. Additional considerations include potential increases in DesktopFax volumes and subsequent training for new users. Early planning is the key to a successful migration.

Contact your Forward Advantage representative six months prior to your MEDITECH Expanse go-live. We’ll go over your current system configurations, look at your fax volumes, and discuss options for moving forward.

Forward Advantage is here to help and wishing you much success on your migration to Expanse!


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