Paper documents are a part of every business – legal contracts, titles, licenses, healthcare data, HR records, and many more, depending on the type of business you’re in. Your offices probably have multiple layers of security protecting those important documents. Maybe you have biometric locks on your file cabinets to prevent unauthorized access. Maybe your documents have RFID tags so their whereabouts are tracked throughout the office. Anyone needing to work with your organization’s secure documents has to be properly authorized.
But what happens to document security when your business operations pivot to working from home?
Thousands of organizations shifted to WFH (work from home) at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. For some, the unplanned move to WFH is proving to be economical and productive, and now they’re planning to continue WFH more or less indefinitely.
Others, however, are finding their WFH business operations are severely impeded due to their reliance on paper documents. Productivity plummets when remote workers need to access documents stored in an office they can’t enter, either because of their own health risk or because the office is closed.
Even if critical documents are retrieved and distributed to WFH staff, it’s difficult to maintain document integrity and chain-of-custody. Families are isolating together, and accidents happen, even with the best intentions. Neither clients nor insurers look favorably upon businesses that place confidential documents in an insecure setting.
There are regulatory considerations, too. Certain types of documents cannot be taken out of a secure office setting without running the risk of fines and lawsuits. And those fines can be hefty; the first two HIPAA fines imposed on hospitals totaled $5.3 million.
Document imaging is the solution. Converting your sensitive documents into digital form gives WFH teams remote access to the information contained in the documents, without any of the risks of taking paper documents out of a secure environment. Confidential information remains confidential.
Document imaging reduces the risk of paper in another way, too. In the event of fire or natural disasters, the imaged versions of your documents act as a back-up for the destroyed or missing paper documents. If you’re requesting a duplicate permit from a government agency, for example, having a digital image of the old permit can speed the process along.
Like RFID document tracking and controlled-access file cabinets, document imaging adds another level of security to your business. For WFH operations, document imaging keeps productivity high and risk low.
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