Q&A

■ Why use document management software? Can’t I just scan documents and save the files some place?

There is a difference between document imaging, and a document management system. No doubt some of you have seen scanners that can scan your bills and receipts, then save them to a computer. This is one feature of document management software, although taken to a much higher level of functionality. For instance, a document management system and allow scanned forms to be edited, then saved. It can even track revisions, as well as each user who saved it, along with the ability to revert changes. You can also set permissions so that some users can only view a document, but not edit it.

Document management systems can also generate forms from information saved in the system. So for instance, if I have saved a customer's name, phone, address, and date of birth, I can create a PDF template that could hold this information. I then import that PDF template into a record set for a customer, and that information becomes auto-populated on the PDF form (name, address, phone, etc) all automatically.

Document management software can also import data from Excel, or nearly any other program that has information. It can then use that imported data to automatically generate filled out PDFs within your document management software.

As you can see, a document management system is much more than just saving scanned copies of documents. It is built to save time and repetitive tasks that often can contain mis-typed information. Easily archive documents, and find a 10 year hold document within seconds. Pull it up, and print it!

■ Are my documents secure and HIPAA Compliant?

Yes, the document management system we prefer for most of our clients meets HIPAA comliancy regulations.  All documents are encrypted and protected within the document management system.  No documents can be seen or modified without going through the system.  Since permissions are assigned within the document management system, you can be sure only the documents and information you want a specific user to have access will be permitted to do so.

Document management systems work well for the healthcare industry, as well as legal, financial, and other fields where security is a concern.

■ It seems like more work to add documents. Is this process faster, slower, or the same?

Most clients converting from traditional paper-file methods, will buy or rent an industrial scanner.  Then they will decide to archive a certain amount of pre-existing files by scanning it into the document management software.  An industrial scanner can scan hundreds of documents an hour.  In additional, there are programming scripts that can automatically take these scanned documents and file them appropriately into the document management software.

Once paper documents are scanned, the real fun begins.  Now, new documents can be auto-generated by taking saved records in the document management software, then generating filled out PDFs from that information.  Need to change a document?  Simply type over it, and save.  Need to see who originally created or modified a document?  Click its history.  It's that simple.

■ What can you do with multiple users in document management software? How do they interact together?

It's fun.  They can have different view permission, write permissions.  Can also workflow it, so document #324 for Mr. Smith must first go to screener to sign off, then passed electronically to secretary's que to add additional data, then sent over to user X for final sign off.

■ Where are my documents saved to?

Somewhere safe.  Encrypted on server, safe and backed up.  No losses of data.  Restore data in catastrophe.

■ Can I access my documents from outside of the document management software?

No, that would not be smart.  Accessing in it preserves permissions, editing, view, etc...  Also ensures no more than one person makes a change so changes aren't lost.