Better Handling of Business Data with a Turnkey Scanning, Storage and Shredding Solution
The amount of business data we have, no matter the format in which it resides – paper, disk, or digital – is exploding for most businesses. For example, statistics show that the typical business user sends and receives on average over 112 emails per day. Regulatory standards place strict requirements on the retention of data so when a record, such as an email, is created it needs to be protected and managed throughout its lifecycle. In the meantime, businesses themselves have to rely on timely availability of information in order to support their operational processes. This complex set of circumstances can lead to an ultimate challenge for managing the constant influx of business data throughout the information lifecycle.
Paper records still abound
Despite the breakneck pace of information technology and cloud application advances, paper documents still represent a significant portion of data for many organizations. The healthcare industry is a prime example as most patient charts have historically resided in a hardcopy format. Even with the huge incentives provided to providers who convert to electronic health records (EHR) in 2013 some practices will continue to store a portion of paper medical records. The situation is similar for other industries for various reasons including:
- redundancy measures
- legal requirements
- historical archiving
The storage of paper documents can be especially overwhelming for businesses due to lack of file space and labor intensive requirements for retrieval. Unfortunately, even the most earnest efforts to store and manage records “in-house,” may result in less than desirable outcomes including:
- misplaced files
- hampered productivity
- permanently lost records due to flooding, theft or fire
Incorporating scanning, storage and shredding
A shortsighted view of retention often leads to less than adequate storage solutions. Documents may be boxed up without proper classification and index schemes, with the misconception that they will rarely need to be retrieved. Files may be left to sit well beyond the required retention period. However, these are risky practices that can lead to huge non-compliance and/or legal consequences. Incorporating scanning, document shredding and offsite storage of paper records not only strengthens business retention processes but also improves security, accessibility and regulatory due diligence.
Documents and files that are routinely utilized are best stored on-site within business facilities. However, rather than physically storing these within a file cabinet or filing room, scanning active documents to an electronic format enables convenient access, sharing and collaboration of data. Private and confidential information contained within electronic documents can be protected with proper network security and encryption.
Conversely, rarely accessed files should be moved off site. An offsite solution should incorporate security, preservation, inventory management systems combined with a documented chain of custody retrieval processes for archival documents. In addition to storage, your records management provider should be able to provide value added services that include:
- records inventory indexing
- expedited retrieval
- client web access
- retention destruction
A scheduled method for securely disposing of both active and archival files reduces the risk of breaches of private information. As business inventory is classified and indexed, any documents past retention should be immediately separated and purged. Similarly, a system for ensuring regular, day-to-day disposal should be implemented for active files. When choosing a records and information vendor, look for a National Association of Information Destruction (NAID) certified provider who can provide you with one time purge and ongoing shred collection services.
Pacific Records Management provides turnkey record management services for businesses throughout Stockton, Sacramento, Modesto, and Napa & Solano Counties. For more information, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on the page.