Spring Cleaning Strategies for Your Records Management Program
The concept and process of spring cleaning has so many positive elements. Spring cleaning your home or office can have a positive effect on morale and productivity. The same is true for your business records management program. Here are a few reasons why:
- Mental Health. Living and working in a neat and organized environment helps decrease stress and depression and can even increase energy and productivity. When you are in a better mood, your relationships with colleagues will benefit, allowing for a better and healthier work atmosphere. Clearing out old records, putting away files that have been laying around, and getting rid of stacks of boxes will lighten things up and help you keep your business information organized and secure.
- Physical Health. Implementing a spring clean in your office and file room requires physical activity. Offer employees this opportunity to get up from their desks rather than remaining sedentary as office work often demands. A neat space with clearer pathways also reduces the risk of injury due to trip hazards and falling objects.
- Efficiency. Clearing out obsolete files and removing visual distractions and physical barriers allows for greater efficiency in business operations. With only the files they need at their fingertips and no need to dig through old information or navigate around piles of files, peak productivity can be achieved.
Overall, good records management practices can help your business thrive in many areas. Get your staff on board and work together by following some of these records management spring cleaning tips:
1. Review Your Records Retention Policy
Now is the time to review your records retention policy. If you don’t have one yet, this is the perfect time to start. Ensure your policy is up to date with current statutory and regulatory retention guidelines.
Need help to determine the legal retention dates for your files? Work with a local, reputable records management company to help you navigate the alphabet soup of state and federal data retention laws
2. Purge Obsolete Files
Now that you’ve determined what must be kept and what must be purged, designate time away from regular business tasks for your staff to focus solely on going through all of your paper records and separating the expired or redundant paper records from the rest. In the process, they will also have the opportunity to put misfiled information back where it belongs.
Have your no-longer-needed files securely destroyed in a one-time purge shredding service. Be sure to ask for a Certificate of Destruction to prove your compliance with state and federal data privacy laws that require you to protect the personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) of your clients and employees.
3. Evaluate Your Filing Process
Is your filing system efficient and secure? Take a look at your active file storage and file retrieval systems. Is it easy and fast to locate files? Are they kept secure and away from prying eyes? How do you control who has access to which information? Do you have a reliable log of who is accessing what information and when?
Working with a reputable offsite records management company can solve all of these problems for you, giving you freedom to run your primary business operations and let someone else worry about storing your records and keeping your business compliant with privacy laws.
4. Digitize Your Paper Documents
By converting select active and archival paper records to digital images, you can provide your business with electronic backups of those documents in case the hard copies are lost or destroyed. Digital images are easy to retrieve and store. Make sure you partner with a records management company that also offers document scanning with the expertise required produce high-quality images with Optical Character Recognition (OCR), keyword indexing, and a robust quality control process to ensure everything is scanned correctly.
Now Is the Time
Any time is a great time to clean out and spruce up your records management program. It doesn’t have to be springtime, but the season is a great reminder. Use these strategies to guide you.
Pacific Records offers a full suite of records and information management services to businesses in California’s Central Valley, including offsite records storage and management, document scanning, media vaulting, and paper shredding, and hard drive and media destruction. For help managing your records, call us at 800-685-9034 or complete the form on this page. We look forward to hearing from you!