It will come as no surprise to many of you that situations that once involved a piece of paper, are quickly disappearing from our daily lives.
Just today, while buying some adult beverages at our local liquor store, the owners have now posted a sign saying; “paper checks are no longer accepted.” At first I was surprised to see such a prominent sign that wasn’t there a few weeks ago, but when you think about it, there aren’t that many people that actually write paper checks anymore.
A few minutes later I picked up a few items at the grocery store and transacted my business and picked up some cash with a single swipe of a plastic debit card.
A recent visit to the doctor for a routine medical procedure had me filling out all the required information on a tablet, not a bunch of paper that was going to wind up in a file folder on the shelf. Instead I was able to input my medical history, medications, and other pertinent information directly into their EMR/EHR system.
A friend of mine recently had an automobile accident and everything was taken care of at the scene of the mishap and all transactions, forms and photographs were easily handled by smartphone applications.
Every major newspaper in the country offers a digital version one can access at anytime on their computer, tablet or smartphone . . . because we don’t get our news from the printed copy of the daily tabloid anymore.
So why do we have many businesses still handling so much paper in their daily activities?
Our consumer lives are driving the on ramp to the digital world we all live and work in today.
Companies and organizations are moving in the right direction, but not at the speed one would expect given the many technologies and devices we surround ourselves with in today’s world.
Whether it’s the gas station, the coffee shop, the retail store or even the hospital or clinic we frequent . . . the digital world has arrived and it actually works quite well.
When you go to work everyday do you have the same technology and devices benefiting your work experience to move paper to the trash bin and make your decisions based on electronic images that may have come from a digitally born document or from a scanned piece of paper? If not; why not?
Consumers will drive the next wave of innovation and technology adoption within many companies and organizations. They will demand it.
Here are some of the areas we are seeing rapid adoption of digital scanning and document management systems to eliminate paper intensive business challenges:
- Accounts Payable / Accounts Receivable: Enjoy a complete paperless processing system in moving the appropriate documents through an organization electronically versus paper and file folders. This is a strong application for digital mailroom services by a professional outsourcing document conversion company that will open your mail, extract the invoices, scan and index pertinent information and then upload data and images into your accounting software or ERP system.
- Patient Chart Scanning / Abstraction: Every hospital, clinic and physician’s practice in the country is now making plans to move into the digital world with implementations of EMR (Electronic Medical Records) and EHR (Electronic Health Records). Legacy information currently contained in file folders lining the office or medical records department must now be converted and hosted alongside the new digital information being entered into the systems by doctors and nurses. A professional outsourcing vendor will use medically trained abstraction specialists who understand new HIPAA regulations, pending requirements of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and the changing reporting codes and requirements coming in the years ahead.
- Drawings, Maps and AEC Information: Manufacturing facilities, architects, construction companies, and most government entities have a requirement to deal with large documents, or wide-format drawings. Once digitized an in a computer, these drawings and support documents allow recipients of the information to make faster and better decisions because all the information is in one place and revisions are cataloged to assure that everyone is working on the latest available data to make those decisions.
- Education: Students now apply online at many colleges through a common applications or apply for financial aid by filling out forms and tax information through a portal provided by the college or university. Other institutions of higher learning outsource a paperless admissions or financial aid process to a document conversion service provider that receives the information and processes it for the applicant and the school and downloads data and images into their student information software or a document management system that will trigger an automated workflow to accept the information submitted by the applicant into software that accelerates the decision making process for the school.
We could add several more applications but I think you see the value that digital imaging and document management systems can bring to companies and organizations who are deploying this technology to find their information faster, act on it quickly, and make better business decisions because they are working with images and not paper files.