Best Practices for Protecting and Preserving Business Documents
Every organization, big or small, has critical business documents. Are your patient charts, employee files, and financial records safe and secure? In this blog, we highlight several key practices for protecting and preserving your business documents.
Making an inventory is the first step in protecting and preserving your business documents. Whether stored on shelves, or in file cabinets or boxes, know where every file is stored. If you have more than one office, be sure to include the records stored in those locations.
Shred What’s No Longer Needed
It’s not practical or secure to keep documents past legally-mandated retention periods. When your records reach their final disposition dates, shred them. A NAID AAA Certified shredding partner destroys your documents within a strict chain of custody using secure practices and background-screened employees. After your documents are shredded, a Certificate of Destruction is issued.
Make Digital Copies
Stored under the right conditions, paper documents can be preserved for decades, but it’s wise to make digital copies of them. Converting your documents to digital files protects them from fires, floods, and even little mishaps like coffee spills. Whether you have one box of documents or an entire file room, a qualified document scanning partner digitizes your records quickly, accurately and securely.
Implement a “Clean Desk” Policy
A clean desk policy prevents confidential documents from being compromised by requiring your employees to remove documents from unattended desks workstations, conference rooms and common areas. A clean desk policy should be put in writing and distributed to every employee. Conduct spot checks during and after business hours to verify compliance with documented policies and procedures.
Store Archives Offsite
Office break-ins and disasters are impossible to predict. Storing your archival documents offsite protects them from the unexpected. A commercial records center safeguards your archival files with the following features:
- High-density shelving units
- In-rack fire suppression systems
- Advanced fire detection technology
- Surveillance monitoring systems
Inventory technology tracks your documents and allows authorized employees to request files through a secure client portal. Offsite document storage keeps your archival documents secure long term.
Find a Document Restoration Partner
Hopefully, your documents will never be soaked with water, but leaky pipes and sprinkler malfunctions happen from time to time. Before a disaster strikes, contact a document restoration partner to find out their capabilities and emergency response times. That way, you won’t be in a panic if your records get soaked. Better yet, don’t store your documents on-site. Partner with a records storage and management provider to protect your records.
For more tips on how to protect your business documents, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.
Richards & Richards offers secure records and information management services for businesses throughout Nashville.