Re-thinking how you store and track your documents can lead to happier clients and employees
If you work in a busy office, chances are records management tasks are relegated to downtimes. Perhaps your company hosts a shred event once a year or you wait until the end of a quarter to clean out the files on your desktop. But the truth is managing your important documents should be a continuous effort without being an imposition on your team. With a reliable records management system in place, both consistency and convenience are possible.
Our ultimate guide covers the benefits of records management, how to develop processes for your organization, and services that can help. Learn more here.
Jump to a section:
- What is a records management system?
- How to create an effective records management system for your business
- Our recommendation: fi-8170
A records management system is a set of policies that dictates how a business handles its records — including document creation, editing, review, governance, tracking, sharing, storage, and responsible destruction.
Every business should consider records management, whether it’s a convenience store owner or a freelance developer. However, creating a steadfast records management system is an absolute must for businesses that collect and store vast amounts of personal data. which may be subject to applicable privacy laws. . Insurance companies, law firms, healthcare organizations, and financial institutions need to manage their records efficiently in order to protect their customers, comply with applicable laws, and run an operationally sound business. Having a records management system helps improve:
- Compliance and security: If your business stores documents with sensitive information, having a strict protocol for managing records can help you stay compliant with applicable laws and/or regulations, such as privacy laws and HIPAA. A records management system also can help you prevent penalty fees for privacy violations (HIPAA violations come with especially stringent fines) and protects your customers and your reputation.
- Organization: Having a process for managing records helps preserve your company documentation and makes archived items and client information easier to retrieve, which leads us to our next point.
- Productivity: Your team members can get their work done faster when they know exactly where to find what they need, and having a clear workflow for managing records also helps them incorporate responsible records management into their daily task list.
- Customer service: Finally, a records management system helps you provide better service to customers who may have questions about their medical records, insurance claims, or account numbers.
Did You Know?:The fi-8170 can scan ID cards and booklets, in addition to documents and photos. Click here to learn more.
Perhaps you already have a set of steps your team follows when managing important records, but you simply haven’t formalized them yet. Or maybe you have a system but your team doesn’t follow through on it because it’s too complicated and inconvenient. Take stock of how you handle, store, track, and destroy both digital and paper records in order to understand the types of improvements you’ll need to make.
Once you have determined your current procedures, make a list of categories for the different records you keep. That list could include company documents, client medical records, employee records, appointment notes, booking data, claims data, and billing and payment information. Then determine which of these records contain sensitive information that may be protected under HIPAA, applicable privacy laws, or other federal, state or local laws. It may be a good idea to talk to legal counsel if you’re not sure how to classify certain records and take a look at a compliance checklist with your team.
By this point, you are ready to write out procedures and daily workflows for your records management system and think about any new tools you’ll want to implement to make record management easier — for example, a documents management system (DMS) or dedicated records management software. In fact, adding a records management solution to your document management process can help you streamline and speed up daily administrative tasks and make the entire process much less burdensome. This is also a great time to ask for feedback from your team and see what their preferences are for managing records on a daily basis. When choosing a new DMS, keep in mind that if you have remote employees, going with a cloud-based service will make data easier to share and access.
Make sure to add records management procedures to your new hire training once your policies are finalized.
Did You Know?:Some document management best practices are universal across industries. Here are five you should know
Make sure your new system is working by running periodic surveys and compliance audits. Ask your team if they are able to access what they need easily and if the policies you put in place make sense for their job duties.
Those in the market for a high-speed document scanner to streamline record management on their team have no shortage of options. We take great pride in having spent the last 50+ years researching, designing, and developing some of the most advanced and powerful electronics in the world, including our professional grade fi and SP series of scanners.
Built to purpose for the most demanding document handling jobs, fi and SP scanners are capable of processing tens of thousands of pages per day at the highest levels of accuracy. Their intuitive integration capabilities with all existing work suites minimize time-to-value for businesses looking to invest in tools that will pay dividends for years to come.
The fi-8170 is a great example of just that. A tried and true high-capacity scanner, it can process up to 70 pages per minute, which makes it the ideal choice for everyday high-volume scanning. Click here to learn more or shop the rest of our production scanner line.
Note: Information and external links are provided for your convenience and for educational purposes only, and shall not be construed, or relied upon, as legal advice. PFU America, Inc. makes no representations about the contents, features, or specifications on such third-party sites, software, and/or offerings (collectively “Third-Party Offerings”) and shall not be responsible for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of such Third-Party Offerings. Please consult with a licensed attorney regarding your specific situation as regulations may be subject to change.