Alleviating an over-dependence on hardcopy records is one advantage of implementing a paperless solution for your business. Document scanning also automates workflow within your organization and streamlines business processes. And for organizations that are frequently audited and have to meet regulatory requirements, an imaging solution can also greatly enhance audit and compliance capabilities.
Your privacy protection obligations
Privacy protection is like insurance against legal liability and damage to your business reputation. Safeguarding personally identifiable information is also a key component of the following regulations:
- Health Insurance Protection and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
- Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB)
Electronic records offer enhanced security from their hardcopy counterparts in that they can be password protected to restrict access to those other than authorized end users.
Yet the process that enables hardcopy documents to be imaged and converted must also follow strict protocols to ensure privacy protection during scanning. Many companies put their data at risk by transferring hardcopy documents overseas to low-cost, third-party scanning providers. In order to ensure regulatory compliance, it is best practice to engage a local document scanning provider with whom you can meet firsthand and verify chain of custody procedures.
Eliminating audit headaches
No one likes to be audited. The easier you can make an auditor’s life the less painful the process. This means being able to give an auditor the information they need in a timely manner. Many businesses start the relationship off on the wrong foot by handing an auditor a box of un-indexed documents, making her job more difficult and increasing the likelihood of unfavorable results.
Document scanning enhances document management, making it easier for an auditor to find the information they need. Electronic records can be better organized, added to an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) database for efficient access, offer full search capabilities enabling precision location of specific data, and provide the following benefits:
- records tracking
- document access control and monitoring
- expedited information retrieval
While you want your documents to be scanned in a timely manner, you also need them to be scanned accurately and clearly. Therefore, quality assurance is imperative during any scanning process. Without strict monitoring and verification that all information has been accurately and thoroughly captured, there’s no guarantee that an auditor or regulator will be able to access the required information.
Thus, when implementing a professional document scanning solution, make sure that speed does not trump accuracy. Images should be captured at a speed that allows for a scanning technician to do a visual check of each image as it is captured. Otherwise, critical data may be lost during the imaging and conversion process, significantly impacting your ability to successfully meet audit and regulatory requirements.
Richards & Richards provides document scanning and imaging solutions to companies throughout Nashville. For more information please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.