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The Many Benefits of Scanning – Ideas Worth Considering


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Document Scanning Saves Time and Money

Document Scanning can reduce your overall costs of document management in the following areas:

  • Document Retrieval
  • Cost Associated with Lost Files
  • Occupancy Costs

What Does It Cost to Retrieve a File?

The University of Mass Medical Center published a study about various costs associated with storing and retrieving a file.  In the study, they identified five areas where the manual system affected costs.

1. The time it takes to retrieve a file takes too long. The slow retrieval time is reflected in delayed or lost income.

2. The manual system requires labor and space expense.

3. The manual system results in lost files

4. The manual system lacks the security requirements dictated by various laws

5. No back up exists of the manual files. This lack of backups to paper documents was brought to the forefront of the news during Hurricane Katrina. (Lost files caused billions of dollars in expense associated with duplicating tests and trying to rebuild some sort of history.)

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What does Document Retrieval Require?

There are eleven steps all performed by a human being. There are eleven steps that can be done wrong, that have to be paid for, where a document can be lost (misfiled or stolen) or a person’s private information could be compromised. The steps follow.

1. Receive a request

2. Travel to the file storage area

3. Locate the appropriate section, identify and pull the file

4. Route file to the requesting person

5. Copy documentation if requested

6. Files returned

7. Travel to file storage area

8. Locate section, identify where the file was originally located

9. File any new documents associated with the file

10. Replace the file the proper location

11. Travel back

Once a file is lost or stolen, the cost to replace the file can be huge. If certain tests/evaluations need to be redone, the costs can be in the thousands. If a legal agreement is lost, the costs can be huge. Our ROI calculator can help you evaluate your actual costs in all of the above areas.

Document Folder to Digital Documents

Document Scanning Can Reduce Space Requirements for On-Site Storage

Scanned files are retrieved online. Therefore they don’t generally need to be on hand in the office. The space taken up by the files is sometimes large enough, such that the removal of the files allows you to either release some office space or grow without moving.

Lost and Misfiled Records are No Longer a Problem Once Your Files are Scanned.

Once a hardcopy file is checked out, then you have to rely on your personnel to actually return it the storage location, and secondly, accurately re-file it to the proper location. Lost files can relate to as much as 20% of the files checked out. There are some ways to reduce that percentage down to 2%, but those come with their own additional cost.

Scanning can Allow Multiple People to Have Simultaneous Access to a File

When a paper file is checked out, no one else can look at it. This can be a tremendous problem. Scanned documents allow for multiple people to have access to the file at the same time.

Scanned Files Are More Secure

The benefit of document scanning to area businesses, hospitals, clinics, law firms and governmental agencies depends on the understanding of how to assign only those who are responsible with the access to the files. Where as in many cases, the entire office, outside contractors, custodians, etc. had access to the paper files.

The pure number of people who have access to any given office leads to a similar number of people who are not authorized, but have access purely because they have access to the office.

For example, if the office is cleaned, the cleaning people have access to the files. Granted, file rooms can be off-limits to the cleaning staff, however, records that have been checked out may be available for compromised by virtue of them not being protected by the person who checked out the files. If there is a special employee who is responsible for retrieving requested files, that person consequently has access to the confidential records

Motivation for Starting a Document Scanning Process.

  • Do you spend too much time retrieving records? Do some of your documents actually get lost? Files stored in a central location that are reviewed periodically have a greater chance of being misfiled or never refilled. The result is that it takes a great amount of time to find such files.
  • Do you need more immediate access to files? Is the amount of time it takes to retrieve a file from the file room simply too long? Do you need instant access to the files? Is immediate customer service becoming extremely important?
  • Do two or more people need access to your files at the same time?
  • Do your people traveling need to have access to your files?
  • Are you running out of space for the hard copy files? Are you looking at the costs of special filing systems, such as rolling files? Are you looking at the costs of acquiring more office space for file storage?
  • Do you feel a need to reduce your overall costs associated with storing, retrieving, refilling and the safety and security of your documents?
  • Are your files safe in their current storage location? Does your current storage method comply with the various privacy laws such as HIPAA or GLB or FACTA?
  • If you had a disaster such as simple broken water pipes, flood or fire, are your current documents protected? Could you be back in business in a matter of days?
  • USArchive can certainly help in evaluating your risk areas. We also have a simple ROI calculator that will easily help you understand your current costs in dealing with your current records process.

USArchive can help in evaluating your risk areas.  We also have a simple ROI calculator that will easily help you understand your current costs in dealing with your current records process.

Mick Plath,

cell: 206-396-0423




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USArchive & Imaging Services, Inc.
1425 Broadway, #20-8773
Seattle, WA 98122
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Phone: 425-822-5170
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