10 things to know about Electronic Records Management

Electronics Records Management, often referred to as ERM, or the newer Records Information Management (RIM) are an essential part of a business’ compliance effort. The ability to digitize records saves time, money and physical space, but it is not without its drawbacks, some of which include:

  • long-term retrievability
  • compatibility
  • accessibility
  • security

Think about those VHS tapes in your closet. Sure they are preserved, but how do you access it? Do you even have a VCR anymore? Similar issues can persist with electronic records for businesses.

Here are 10 important tips to know about ERM:

 

1. Stay compliant

Many countries now require a data retention strategy as part of a large compliance effort. This is to prevent the selective destruction of important records, emails or other data that may need to be reviewed in an investigation, or the preservation of HIPAA or patient data in a medical setting.  Using the right Electronic Records Management solution makes it easy to comply with local and federal laws while providing easy access to this data.

2. Electronic Records Management grew out of Physical Records Management

Sherpa’s 2007 partnership with BRM, a leader in physical record keeping, strengthened their understanding of offline records. As a market leader in electronic record management, Sherpa understands the entirety of the business records lifecycle, both online and off.

3. Good for business, good for the planet

ERM doesn’t just make things easier on record keepers; Chris Wacker of ARMA asserts that a shift to ERM can also reduce paper, fuel and energy costs for a business and to the planet. This is a double win that saves business costs along with environmental waste.

4. Ensure an audit trail

ERM best practices demand unique identifiers for all records entered into your system. This allows all records to be fully traceable during data pulls, audits and investigations.

5. Reduce time

By ensuring records are available when needed, businesses can save valuable labor and processing time formerly spent digging through old files or searching disks. This is a fantastic cost-saving action for any business.

6. Version control

Everyone in your organization accesses the most recent version of a file with the ability to see previous versions.

7. More Security

Your organization’s ability to store secure or confidential records increases with ERM by allowing folder and file level permissions along with tracking data about who accesses what, and when.

8. Records are more shareable

Everyone in your organization can access the same sets of records with the same unique identifiers.  This prevents redundancies and saves time during cross-departmental work.

9. ERM differs from information governance

As Denny Russell stated this spring, “If you take one thing away from this article, it should be this: Information governance programs are high-level, strategic initiatives which designate accountability for the management of electronic information throughout all areas of the organization. Records management programs are much more operational in scope, and are often a mechanism for achieving some of the goals defined during the IG planning.”

10. Managing your e-records is just the beginning!

Collecting and ensuring accuracy of your data is a huge step, but now it’s time for advanced search, archiving, risk assessment, and more. Sherpa Software is poised to be your partner to help you reap the full benefits from a properly configured data lifecycle.

 

Now you know some of the many benefits of Electronic Records Management. Move your business towards a configured data lifecycle with Sherpa Software today. Contact us to get started!

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