5 Key Functions of an Effective Electronic Records Management Program

The list of benefits of migrating from paper to electronic records management is long — from cost savings to improved communication, your organization will function more efficiently on the cloud. The actual process of making the change, however, is often daunting. 

You likely have years of documentation in various formats and entire systems that need to be evaluated. It’s important to choose the right solution that meets your needs so that you only have to do this migration once.

Evaluate the Electronic Records System Functions

Whether you are making a new move towards a digital workflow, or you have a partial system in need of optimization, do not rush into a decision. Check out our list of must-have functions that any electronic records management system should have and consider how they fit into your future operational flow.

1. Document Creation and Storage

This is the absolute first priority for any EMS. While storage is the most obvious function of any electronic records management system, the importance of being able to create your documents within the same interface can’t be overstated.

A good EMS allows you to create electronic documents, tag them, and file them away, usually by giving users access to custom templates. The alternative is having to learn two programs: one to create the document and another to organize and store it. 

Without a doubt, step one is to cut out that middleman. Make sure your EMS allows you to make your documents right in the same system they’ll be stored in.

2. Document Organization

What good is document storage without a system in place to be able to find what you need quickly? Just like you wouldn’t have had your paper files in unmarked cabinets in random order, your EMS should be meticulously organized.

The good news is that a good EMS makes organizing your files easier than ever. While creating or ingesting your documents, you’ll be able to apply categorization, tags, and other metadata to make sure the right people will have access to the files they need at the right time. No searching through filing cabinets, no scrolling through a disorganized database.

3. Security

Now that you’re able to create files and store them in an organized fashion, we can turn our thoughts to security. Your data (and your clients’ data) needs to be protected when it enters the digital world.

Depending on your industry, you might need security measures that are compliant with HIPAA, SOX, FINRA, or other security standards. Make sure that the encryption is up to code for what your company requires and that it’s doubled-ended: encryption on both ends of any data transaction.

If you need an extra layer of security, consider an onsite hosting solution. Though they do cost more and take up some space, onsite servers ensure that only those in your building will have access to your files.

4. Paper Document Upload and Integration

But what if your company is just starting its transition to digital files? Odds are, you’ve got a lot of paper documents that need to be transferred to the new system. You need an EMS that includes document imaging.

Document imaging is a lot more than your average scanner. Using a process called Optical Character Recognition, your papers files are converted into e-documents that can be edited, searched for, and organized right along with the ones that started out digitally in the first place.

If you’ve got a hybrid system where you do still rely on physical forms being filled out, our Turbo Owl product may just be your new best friend. It includes custom barcodes that will allow you to upload and organize your paper documents as soon as they’re ready.

5. Task Assignment

Now that you’ve gotten everything uploaded, organized, and secure, let’s make your digital documents work for you.

Some electronic document management systems allow you to set up tasks and notifications and assign them to employees. This type of workflow management is ideal for repetitive tasks. Instead of waiting on a coworker to let you know that a file you’re waiting on is complete, the system notifies you.

With a little bit of setup, these notifications and task lists will help automate your workflow and reduce the likelihood of human error.

Go Digital

With all of the options available for your company’s electronic records management program, there’s never been a better time to make the switch to a digital workflow. Find the functions that make sense for your company, and see why you should get started with Go Find It.