January 9th, 2013
For most mid-size and large companies, there’s a constant flow of documentation – contracts, invoices, memos, records, meetings notes, agendas, handouts, client files, proposals, RFPs… the list goes on and on. Problems often arise when the massive amount of documentation becomes overwhelming, or when you can’t find that one document that’s essential to completing a project. Dashing from office to office in search of a signature or a single piece of paper is daunting and unproductive.
In today’s digitally dominated business world, efficient companies need to have a process for converting paper files into a digital format, and integrating them into some type of document management system. For smaller business, a simple office scanner and basic software may suffice. For larger companies, it’s another story.
A part- or full-time document management professional may be crucial to improving efficiencies and productivity among all team members. For instance, let’s say you have loads of legacy documents or files that need to be converted to a PDF format, and then indexed for fast retrieval. That process can take many hours – and who has those extra hours to spare?
Here are five signs you need a document management professional in house:
- You have a constant flow of paper files or incoming forms that are steadily increasing file storage space on site.
- Retrieving paper-based files is a slow and arduous process. Or, (even worse) you have to continually retrieve documents from an off-site storage facility.
- You are unable to digitally retrieve scanned files because the company’s digital data is not indexed properly, and/or it’s not searchable.
- Your paper files are always getting misfiled or misplaced. You’re constantly hunting for documents.
- You aren’t properly prepared for an unplanned disaster, such as a fire, theft or equipment malfunction.
June 14th, 2010
Large engineering companies, government agencies, school districts and libraries have archived content on microfilm for decades. Typical film archives have been used for grade transcripts, equipment manuals, newspapers, accounting documents, engineering drawings, etc. In many cases, there are large amounts of valuable data on this film, but it’s very difficult to locate specific information when stored in this format. Here are the top five reasons for converting that microfilm and microfiche into a digital format:
- Equipment to read and create new film is outdated and readers are either hard to find, take up too much space, or are in need of repair.
- It can be extremely time consuming to search through film, whether it be 16mm rolls, 35mm rolls, or in microfiche format.
- In order to use the information, the image from the film needs to be printed, scanned, then optionally recognized optically (OCR) in order to make the data usable.
- Film is usually stored in one place and prone to disasters or degraded over time. Digital storage is safe and secure. Disaster recovery systems can also be integrated.
- Importing the digitized content into a document management system (along with index data or utilizing OCR techniques) converts the archives to a useful format. Retrieval can be quick and easy.
Organizations that make the commitment to digitize film archives have seen a substantial increase in efficiency. Time to search for digital archive images is drastically reduced, leading to better customer service and reduced labor costs.
Professional scanning bureaus have the expertise and equipment to efficiently digitize your archives. Although the economy is putting a squeeze on budgets, and these types of projects have been put on hold, consideration must be made on the cost for film storage and labor costs for retrieval.
Does your organization utilize microfilm or micofiche? If so, what has prevented you from digitizing the data?
May 21st, 2010
I know, I know… You’re thinking there is no way any blog post is going to convince you to scan all your medical records. And I’m not saying you should scan every single shred of paper in every patient chart – but you should consider at least partially scanning all your charts. Here’s 5 reasons why:
- More Office Space – The most obvious reason to digitize charts is to free up space and use that space for more productive activities (new physician, additional admin staff, etc).
- Speed Up EMR Adoption - During an EMR transition, the last thing a practice needs is both live paper-based charts and digital charts. Using paper and digital charts in tandem can be ineffective because physicians will naturally gravitate back towards paper. Plus, this will drastically slow EMR adoption and patient records quickly get out of sync.
- Create a Disaster Recovery System – Digital data can be easily replicated and taken off-site as a form of disaster recovery. This certainly provides peace of mind for practice admins.
- Increase Productivity – Practices are much more productive when they eliminate or reduce paper-handling. By scanning charts after go-live on EMR, you have the opportunity to go paperless quickly and never look back. EMR systems are well-equipped to view digital images of older chart images, so a patient chart is only in one place and one-place only.
- Save Money - It’s true! If you figure out how much time and money is spent on paper-handling activities in the office (filing, refiling, paper, staples, copiers, faxing, mailing) and how much more efficient the office would run without paper, the choice is quite clear.
Interested in learning more about the chart scanning process and benefits? Check out these case studies featuring medical practices that made the digital leap after implementing EMR systems.
- Case Study 1: Pima Heart Cardiology digitizes patient charts after converting to the NextGen Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system.
- Cast Study 2: Digestive Disease Consultants digitizes patient charts converting to the ChartCapture (EMR) system.