The healthcare industry has some of the most stringent standards in terms of data-related regulatory compliance. HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) applies to 18 different aspects of individual health information that could potentially be used to identify someone. HIPAA privacy rules apply to both written and visual information. Privacy rules are only one aspect of HIPAA. While the entire act revolves around patient privacy, it’s not only organizations within the healthcare industry that need to be concerned about HIPAA compliance. Any covered entity or business associate that interacts with healthcare information also falls under the jurisdiction of HIPAA and must meet the requirements set forth by the HIPAA security compliance checklist. The good news for healthcare providers, dentists, and doctors is that document management providers are able to ensure they remain compliant with HIPAA.
The HIPAA Security Compliance Checklist
The HIPAA compliance checklist is just what it sounds like – a checklist of criteria that organizations must meet in order to comply with HIPAA regulations. The requirements of HIPAA are broad so they can be applied to all organizations that come into contact with Protected Health Information (PHI). There are five main technological safeguards that must be in place, according to the HIPAA compliance checklist. These HIPAA security rules include:
- Implementation of a means of control
- The inclusion of a verified authentication method for ePHI
- Tools for encryption and decryption
- Introduction of activity logs and audit controls
- Facilitation of automatic log-off for network-connected devices
Failing to adhere to HIPAA compliance comes with a heavy cost. Fines for violations can be as high as $1 million when sensitive information is concerned. Needless to say, any organization within healthcare or related to healthcare cannot afford to neglect security measures that involve Patient Health Information.
HIPAA Compliance & Document Security Equipment
The primary challenge of medical software is dealing with document management. Because such software is essential to processing large numbers of documents, most healthcare providers utilize these systems. Some of the key features of quality medical document security software include ease of use, strictly defined structure, and data security. Security solutions at the software level mean little without the hardware necessary to implement those solutions. Document security equipment includes medical office multi-function printers, medical office scanners, and network security, which helps to deal with issues that all organizations must concern themselves with today.
Other than requiring an inventory of all hardware containing ePHI, the HIPAA compliance checklist does not define specific hardware requirements. However, the entire list, when taken as a whole, implies that the proper document security equipment has to be implemented. This includes everything necessary to prevent or detect breaches if and when they do happen. In order to provide an integrated-document security solution, multi-function printers (MFPs) can be outfitted with wireless access points with pre-installed security-conscious firmware. With medical office managed IT, this integration can be accomplished without the need for piecing together every detail on your own.
High Quality HIPAA Compliance
External Managed IT services can provide services that will further integrate the necessary components of HIPAA security compliance into an office’s overall infrastructure. This eliminates the worry concerning the chance of a data leak or a security breach happening in some unexpected corner of document security services.
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have enough to worry about. By placing document-security, for both paper documents and digital files, concerns in the hands of experienced professionals, healthcare offices are able to have a HIPAA-compliant infrastructure that is tailored to meet the needs of their team and patients. Medical offices also benefit from a more efficient workflow that not only keeps them in compliance with HIPAA, but adapts to their changing needs.
Want to learn more about the available IT security options that RJ Young offers to hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other healthcare organizations? Contact us today to learn more about the latest HIPAA compliant document security innovations.
Few people understand the importance of workflow efficiency better than employees in a medical office or hospital. Keeping documentation organized, ensuring sensitive data remains secure and making sure they stay HIPAA compliant are just a few of the tasks medical offices face daily. Fortunately, these practices can focus on other tasks thanks to medical office document management services.
What Are Document Management Services?
Initially, Document Management meant digitizing all of the documents in filing cabinets to make them easier to access and search through. For many organizations, the promise of automation for document capture, routing, and access remained unfulfilled with older systems. These systems were cumbersome or confusing, leaving employees to resort to old, manual processes. With recent developments in software and technology, however, document management can transform a work environment in several ways. This includes so much more than just scanning services – especially for healthcare.
Document Security & Regulation Compliance
Once documents are digitally stored, they instantly become more secure. Whereas physical copies can be picked up by anyone in the immediate vicinity, digital copies require multiple steps before they can be accessed.
Sometimes it is necessary for hard copies to be made. With the workflow solutions provided by modern document management software, medical practices can securely print hard copies of sensitive information with the use of badge swipes or codes. This provides an additional layer of security by only allowing authorized users access to health records and other patient information.
The best way to ensure HIPAA compliance is by controlling who has access to medical records. With medical office document management services, digital access for medical records can be solely provided to authorized individuals. By meeting HIPAA’s privacy regulations, compliance indeed becomes achievable.
Saving Green by Going Green
Recent reports have shown that medical practices produce over 1000 faxes per month. By opting for electronic documents and cutting out these faxes and subsequent copies, medical offices can reduce costs. These funds can then be allocated to more significant areas. These savings do not just come from cutting down on the cost of paper. Offices enjoy additional benefits due to a reduction in toner and ink cartridge replenishment, fewer equipment servicing requests, and smaller storage requirements for documents.
How Document Management Is Saving Today’s Medical Office
Studies have found that over 80 percent of doctors use EHRs(electronic healthcare record systems). Most doctors and physicians assume that their EHR software is the only piece of document management that they require. Though EHRs are a significant improvement from traditional paper practices, they can still be improved. Document Management software can integrate with EHRs that are already in place. This helps fortify security for patient information and lab results and ensures automation processes are operating at maximum efficiency.
Reducing Human Error
Even though an overwhelming majority of doctors are now utilizing electronic systems, most are still relying on paper-based documents for processes that could be automated such as patient intake forms. By holding onto these paper-based practices, sensitive documents are subject to one of the most severe threats to HIPAA compliance – human error.
The best way to reduce human error is to simplify processes and make systems more organized. Paper files allow for human error to occur more easily than digital ones. Misplacing confidential patient records is more prone to happen when files are physically stored. These hard copies can be placed in incorrect folders, which can lead to false information being relayed. By holding onto paper copies of patient data, there is also a much higher chance of being in violation of HIPAA due to the information being less secure.
Human error and HIPAA violations can be minimized when document management is implemented. By keeping all files digital, professionals can simply search the database of files to find the most accurate patient information through secure means. Additional security measures can be placed on electronic files to make sure that only approved users have access. This is a much better way to ensure HIPAA compliance than locking documents in a filing cabinet. Essentially, medical office document management maximizes efficiency by minimizing the chance of errors.
Improving Workflow Through Automation
One of the largest benefits of implementing document management can be seen in patient records. Prior to automation, medical facilities would pull patient records and fax them to provide patient information to other professionals. Due to human error and large reserves of files, the documents sent over might not be the most recent files. After an office incorporates automation into their daily practices, they are able to guarantee that the files they pull and send are the most up-to-date ones. With superior organization and search capabilities, electronic systems improve almost every single process that the healthcare industry uses.
It’s All About The Patient
Medical Office Document Management helps transform an office into a more patient-oriented organization because they spend less time worrying about documents and more time on the patients themselves.
Find Out More About Medical Office Document Management
When it comes to implementing digital transformation solutions, accounts payable often takes a backseat to other business processes. This makes sense because of the increased rigor that financial documentation goes through during processing. However, optimizing customer-oriented workflows without optimizing your invoice and billing solutions is a half-measure that will generate production bottlenecks in time.
Instead of treating your accounts payable department like a burdensome cost, you can implement innovative managed services that will transform accounting processes into value-generating assets. Once you start quantifying value in terms of cost-savings and efficiencies, the opportunity to upgrade your accounts payable processes is one you will want to take as soon as you can.
There are three ways that managed services can help generate value in enterprise financial departments. From digitally processing invoices to implementing state-of-the-art data and network security solutions, you can provide your accounting department with the tools it needs to produce long-lasting value.
Three Workflow Solutions to Improve Accounting Efficiency
Today’s finance officers have to cope with increasingly complex regulations while being able to offer useful advice to executive partners using modern data analysis to draw insight. This puts CFOs in a position to balance concerns of performance, efficiency, and risk using data that may not always be immediately available.
To be able to take advantage of the data that accounts payable processes generate, you need to collect, store, and communicate data effectively. A solid financial data infrastructure can remove up to 25 percent of your current staff’s workload, increasing your capabilities significantly.
Our workflow optimization specialists identify three valuable ways today’s organizations can reduce waste and inefficiency in the accounts payable department. These include customized workflow solutions, managed print services, and mobile compatibility.
1. Customized Workflows
Your organization operates according to a strict set of unique processes that determine what happens to incoming financial documentation. Those processes include solutions for invoices, procedures for billing, and retroactive corrections of mistakes (when possible).
Paper-based workflows are simply too slow and too inefficient to generate value in today’s workplace. But you cannot reasonably expect to bulldoze your own existing processes and replace them ad-hoc with brand new digital ones.
You need customized digital workflows that mirror your paper-based processes while improving the speed and efficiency with which accounts payable employees process individual documents. This allows you to set hard-and-fast rules that enforce regulation compliance and speed up the capture of incoming financial documentation.
Additionally, customized digital workflows allow you route new documents using automated tools that prevent the possibility of sensitive data getting into the wrong hands. Customized workflows allow you to keep a closer eye on data transfer and printing so that your company enjoys greater data security.
2. Managed Print Services
Printing can account for up to 15 percent of unreported annual business spending. That alarming figure is easy to understand when you factor in the cost of ink and toner cartridges, paper, printer maintenance, and employee downtime caused by printer-related issues.
Managed print services transform your print fleet into a value-generating asset that is scalable, efficient, and easy to manage. These services turn an ad-hoc expense into a fixed fee while incentivizing your service provider to keep your print fleet in perfect working condition.
Powerful analytics allow you to look at print consumption at the individual user level to determine which employees are abusing print resources – and why. This also gives you the power to change your print fleet layout to accommodate employee workflows so that the departments that print the most have the ideal resources available to do so.
3. Mobile Office Solutions
Enterprises are increasingly moving towards the Bring-Your-Own-Device trend. For an increasing number of employees, work no longer refers strictly to what happens at your desk. The ability to process and communicate data from the palm of your hand is an important and valuable asset.
While there are legitimate security concerns to letting employees use their own mobile devices, the fact is that employees will choose on the most convenient way to get things done. If that means using a mobile device to send sensitive customer financial documentation, it is up to you to make sure that the transfer is a secure one.
Developing and deploying robust mobile office solutions help to standardize processes and procedures for using mobile devices. This allows employees to print, scan, and transfer sensitive data from their mobile devices securely, while enjoying full access to company resources.
Are you ready to incorporate state-of-the-art workflow solutions into your accounts payable processes? Join us for a free webinar on May 23rd! Register today.
2018 is here, and RJ Young is ready to help you meet all of your business resolutions this new year. Follow along over the next few months as we help you identify ten ways to simplify your business, from outsourced IT services to having a one-stop shop for your office technology needs. Make 2018 the year you simplify your printing and technology needs.
Resolution 3: Bring Everything You Need Everywhere You Go with a Mobile Office
As a business owner or team leader, you need to have access to your business everywhere you go. With Mobile Office Solutions from RJ Young, you’ll have everything you need on your phone or tablet in easy-to-use formats that mirror your desktop workspace. Your network, your workflow, your device—mobile office solutions may seem like the future, but they can be the present.
4 Benefits of Mobile Office Solutions
What are some of the biggest benefits of mobile office solutions for businesses?
1. Print from your mobile device
On the go? In a meeting and need to print a file quickly? RJ Young Mobile Solutions can set up your mobile device—phone or tablet—to print whatever you need, wherever you are.
2. Capture & Share Data
Scan, upload, organize and share data and documents from any device. No need to wait until you get back to the office.
3. Cloud-based document storage
Say you’re in the aforementioned meeting and need to print a document—finding it on your mobile device could be tricky if you aren’t using cloud-based document storage as part of your mobile office! Cloud-based document storage (paired with scanned files and other efficiencies from partnering with RJ Young) allows you to access any file, anytime, anywhere.
4. Electronic Forms Streamline Approvals
No more chasing stakeholders around with a pen and printed documents—with electronic forms, you can instantly email all the key stakeholders to digitally sign anything that needs approval. Fast, efficient, safe—electronic forms will change the way you approve (and get approvals for) all of your contracts and other documents.
A Mobile Office Gives You All the Flexibility You Need
This is the year your office starts to work for you, no matter where you are or what you need. With mobile office solutions from RJ Young, your documents, contracts, printers, files, and electronic forms are always within your reach. You can take your office where you need it to go—which means you can be wherever you need to be. It’s flexibility without compromise.
Learn more about how RJ Young’s Mobile Office Solutions can start helping you today!
There are only so many hours in the day and dollars in your budget. Therefore, most managers set out on the journey to an efficient workflow each day. The course can often be long and managers encounter many roadblocks and detours along the way. Here are three routes to help reduce operating costs while increasing your productivity and efficiency.
- Document Management
Automated workflows move information throughout your organization in a secure, efficient manner. Translate paper-based data into documents, facilitate sharing and allow accessibility from desktops and mobile devices. View, share and store digitized documents and data in a centralized system. Print business documents from your mobile device anytime, anywhere. Access your documents via Smart Devices (iOS, Android). Secure your important business information and protect it from unauthorized users. Boost productivity with digitized data, automated workflows and instant access to information.
- Managed Print Services
Keep your office up and running while driving printing costs down. Up to 90% of companies do not track how much they spend on producing and maintaining documents. The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year, and printing costs can eat away up to 15% of your annual revenue. Managed print services solutions typically consist of a flat monthly fee that covers the equipment lease, a set number of prints, toner supplies, service calls and parts for service repairs—all managed by an expert print management consultant. This allows your business to plan for short-term and long-term printing expenses and track the cost associated with each document produced.
- Managed Network Services
Managed IT services is a cost-effective way to help maintain vital, daily operations with limited interruptions to workflow. As computers become easier to use, the networks that connect them become more complex. A single change to a network can have a cascade of negative effects. As a result, businesses can be crippled by the loss of employee productivity. Control costs with managed IT services helps to find the source of network issues and configure your network for maximum efficiency. Your network is monitored to identify and remedy potential problems before they impact operations. Regular reporting on the overall health of your network, monitor your nightly backups and provide automatic updates and virus sweeps to ensure your network is well maintained.
Don’t get off-course looking for shortcuts to hit your budget. These three steps will provide direction, navigating you directly to your business goals.
Josh Burgoa, Software Sales Specialist
Since January 2014, Josh helps provide customers with electronic document management, document output, workflow automation and print management solutions. He also helps with ways to streamline their business processes through technology. In turn, cutting customer costs and increasing productivity. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University. Josh is a Software Sales Specialist from our Chattanooga, TN office.
In today’s fast-paced economy, there is a considerable competitive gap between paper-dependent organizations and those utilizing electronic content management. Manual paper processing is significantly slow, subject to error and an inefficient use of employee time. However, document management solutions deliver advanced automation allowing companies to effortlessly streamline the management of data. By using routine, systematic tools to automatically capture, index and route information, document management software makes your data work for you.
Here are three tools for business users to efficiently capture, organize and process data with minimal effort:
Is the flow of information within your business accurate and efficient? With an electronic document workflow, replace paper-based file distribution with an automated stream of documents to simplify the route of information. Creating a workflow is a one-time task, where a user defines the required document route and activity based on specific conditions. When a document meets the specific criteria, the system will trigger the workflow and push information through as arranged. Users can set automated exporting of data to release into an archive, to email, or even for the direct feed of information to other line of business applications. Regulatory requirements can also be set so that the workflow monitors document dates to watch for appropriate retention times.
The electronic document workflow automates virtually any document driven processes within your organization with key features including date math routing, exception reporting, multi-level approval processes, automated data export and automatic document matching. By creating and maintaining workflow automation, your organization can keep business moving while ensuring pre-defined document conditions are met.
Examples of use:
- Document Retention Scheduling
- Accounts Payable Automation
- Contract Management
Save time spent standing by the scanner. An automation tool delivers enhanced document capture, high value data extraction and document delivery automation. This user-friendly type capture system creates and maintains document capture and distribution. High-quality batch processing allows for automated data extraction from faxes, email, scanned images and other digital records in bulk. Some automation tools can even monitor a “hot folder” for incoming records and automatically index the files based on an accompanying CSV file.
When grabbing documents, automation tools can extract file names and assign them to an index field. These documents can then be routed for archival, or triggered within a set document-driven workflow. Once processed, records are then available to be delivered. Users can then be notified whenever a document arrives in a specific archive through custom email messaging. The message may include index data for describing document detail to the recipient.
Processed records can be scanned directly to:
- An Inbox—a temporary repository awaiting user assessment
- An Archive—where documents are directly indexed and filed away
- Easy file system for access
Manually entering data into your line of business application is highly prone to human error. Automated extraction through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the reliable alternative, built to automatically find and extract high value information to be shared and re-purposed. Powerful image enhancement and confidence based reporting are just a few of the tools that combine to ensure that you are getting the highest quality data extraction from your documents. The resulting data is then fed through a Quality Assurance engine that checks your output to ensure it meets the assigned level of confidence, prior to releasing it to SmartSearch. Establishing OCR zones is another option for setting extraction guidelines for uniform, large batches of documents. To take accuracy to the next level, users can add a page registration marker to protect against misreads that result from paper shifts during the scanning process.
Using OCR Text Recognition in a pre-defined document capture process will enable the system to go to work and automatically start grabbing data. Data successfully extracted from your documents will be released to SmartSearch along with the original image file. Optical Character Recognition capabilities provide your business with reliable, high-quality data extraction.
- Prompt, error-free data retrieval
- Elimination of double data entries
- Zonal OCR markers for accurate batch scanning
Document management relieves the pressure of manual data processing by converting paper files into electronic data documents. In doing so, businesses become more efficient and secure with their data. Automation tools grant the ability to streamline small or complex tasks easily and quickly to make your data work for you.
Every day large volumes of paper documents can become difficult to manage, often leading to data entry errors, loss of information and inconvenient work delays. This inefficient use of time, office technology, office equipment, and human resources can result in significant financial losses for any sized business. Workflow Automation and Business Process Automation help businesses boost their productivity and efficiency.
Workflow Automation software is comprised of a set of tools aimed at maximizing all the benefits of performing automated business processes while reducing costs. It allows individuals to automate repetitive business processes and easily follow up on uncompleted tasks. Users gain knowledge into workflow performance with in-depth visibility into what needs to be done, who is involved in the process and what will happen after an action is taken.
In order to build effective automated processes, organizations should implement workflow software that will deliver the following five essential features:
- 1. Accessibility
Today, the most efficient workflow software systems are mobile accessible, providing users the ability to view document information, give approvals and access data and reports from any location at any time. It’s not enough to rely on one platform, as workflow software should be compatible from Mac to PC, tablet to smartphone and laptop. With mobile accessibility, security is a requirement. Advance workflow software should offer role-based access control so that workflows containing sensitive information can be kept hidden from certain users. Administrators can easily customize what each individual user can see and do, ensuring accessibility without sacrificing document and information security.
- 2. Visibility
High-level decision making depends heavily on the documentation at hand, corresponding data, and effective communication, which can be tough to monitor. Decision makers want to know quickly which processes are on track and which ones are in need of attention. Advanced workflow software provides a structured, centralized system allowing users to effectively track business processes and documents as they are completed. Of course, building automated business processes within workflow software may result in an inefficient process design. Robust, built-in workflow reporting improves visibility, allowing users to see what’s being held up and where to focus attention. This allows key people to instantly check the status of a process, analyze critical workflow steps and make effective decisions.
- 3. Notification
Within a busy environment, people tend to abandon documents if they are not reminded of them. An effective workflow software system will send notifications to remind users of action items such as upcoming approvals, data entry and indexing. With automatic notifications, users no longer have to wait for someone to hand off a document onto their desks. Workflow software makes business-critical documentation available on demand, immediately accessible and ready for action. Event triggers add flexible intervals between workflow actions based on the timing of a process. A process can be set to notify a user once a week, once a day, or once an hour. Ensuring best practices, by eliminating paper chasing and reducing processing delays, workflow software confirms that all steps have been completed correctly and checkpoints met before moving forward.
- 4. Non-Sequential Routes
It’s no doubt that certain processes need multiple manager approvals and review. Instead of building several different workflows for each department, advanced workflow software allows users to create one complete workflow on a singular design canvas that follows a different track depending on which department will do the approving. All steps can now run simultaneously as opposed to sequentially so that more can be done in less time, making the process more efficient.
- 5. Integration
The best workflow software systems will integrate seamlessly with an organization’s existing business applications such as QuickBooks and SalesForce. Users can also integrate their document management workflows with office equipment, including printers and scanning devices, which acts as the catalyst for workflow automation. Additionally, form designing platforms incorporate workflow software to allow data to be accessed and worked the moment it is captured, for more efficient and faster completion.
Workflow software makes any organization become more efficient by helping to save time, avoiding unnecessary manual work and making better use of resources.
Stop wasting time and money. Ensure your solution delivers these five features when it’s time to implement a workflow system in your organization and become the office hero -or rockstar. Learn more about Business Process Automation and Workflow Solutions today by contacting us today!
Delivering paperwork from desk to desk, requesting written approval, manually searching for correspondence—all of these tasks are inefficient and time-consuming. Processing documents could take hours, even days and sometimes even longer to find them. Manual data entry is labor intensive and can lead to errors and confusion. Managing the accuracy and timeliness of projects is tricky, especially when multiple people are involved. In order to stay on task, you’re constantly checking in and waiting on your employees. Automated Processes help data, tasks, and documents get automatically delivered or stored to the right people at the right time.
One of the biggest challenges with digital businesses today is managing content and data between multiple business programs and applications. Not all of a company’s departments use the same programs, making it hard to collaborate enterprise-wide. Manually editing documents across different programs will ultimately lead to additional (and unnecessary) rounds of revision. Having to email documents back and forth not only takes time, but it can lead to errors, costing you more than you think.
What are Automated Processes and Workflow Solutions?
Business Process Automation and Workflow Solutions blends people and their work together into one streamlined performance, creating a strategic foundation for daily operations to take place, boosting productivity, simplifying collaboration and improving the quality of output. Beyond conventional record-keeping activities, automation has the inherent strength to handle the most complex business functions, enabling organizations to better manage daily activities. Implementing a process automation solution can transform an existing routine from ineffective to exceptional. By automating your business processes, your business can instantly improve the following communication, productivity, and efficiency.
3 Ways Automated Processes Can Help You Win
With capture automation you can scan your documents into a device, automatically extracting and indexing data from each page. That data is then stored into your electronic document management system where it is analyzed, sent to the appropriate people or third party programs, and properly archived for easy retrieval. The next time someone goes to enter customer information into the system, it is already captured and repopulated into the designated fields, eliminating repetitive entry.
Workflow automation ensures business processes are on track, reducing errors in communication. Workflows can be set up send automatic notifications to anyone involved in a project, ensuring business tasks are completed on time The built-in oversight abilities also help to better manage employees. With this feature, you can check in and see who has completed a task, and what still needs to be done. That way, you can talk to the necessary people without having to pull others away from their work.
Automation allows the data you designate to be automatically shared with business programs employees use most, through powerful integration capabilities. This type of integration ensures employees, partners and customers have access to their documents, no matter what platform they are using.
It’s time to ditch old-fashioned manual processing to become better organized and more efficient. Having the ability to map out automated business processes greatly improves communication between employees as well as productivity. Implementing these process automation solutions can also improve the credibility and profitability of any organization.
Increase Productivity with RJ Young
RJ Young provides custom document management and Business Process Automation technology solutions to businesses. These solutions help businesses amplify their productivity by transforming business processes into lean, results-driven operations.
Get started with developing a custom Business Process Automation strategy that unlocks your company’s potential. Contact a Process Automation specialist to start a conversation about your unique needs, goals, and processes.
Businesses invest hundreds, thousands and even millions of dollars securing networks, servers, individual computers and even mobile devices in an effort to protect their business critical data. Yet, in both security technology and policies, many businesses often ignore a blatant risk right under their noses each day, the output on multifunctional printers (MFPs) and copiers. The good news is there are a couple of steps you can easily take to solve this challenge.
- Acknowledge the Risk
Make your employees aware of the information security risk that exists at the MFP level and give guidance by incorporating printing environment best practices into your corporate information security policy. As end-user behavior is key to implementing most policies, ensuring they are aware it’s their responsibility to protect hard copies of sensitive information, such as client information and human resource records, when they are printed on MFPs and that abandoned prints left at MFPs are a breach of policy.
- Use Available Tools
Most MFPs are capable of incorporating software to secure output on devices. Such software requires end-users to provide credentials, such as a card swipe or password, to print, copy or scan at the device at the release of the print job. This also provides an audit trail of print usage, what was printed and when it was printed, to help track down data breaches should they occur as well as coach employees on compliance of the information security policy as needed.
With privacy and regulations to help protect consumer information on the rise, such as the widely recognized Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), businesses must ensure consumer information is safeguarded at every point in their manual and electronic management systems. Updating information security policies and implementing secure printing technology are two steps that are reasonable for most businesses to take to help secure customer information.
Mark Turner, Software Sales Specialist
Mark Turner brings a wealth of experience in document software systems to his position as Software Sales Specialist for RJ Young. Mark helps clients be more successful in their businesses through document management, workflow automation and software systems to streamline the transfer of document information.
Stacks of bills waiting to be paid no longer sit on your desk like they might have just a few years ago. Today there are emails letting you know when they have arrived as part of a document workflow. Now you can review each one, sign digitally, add electronic sticky notes when needed and approve to be paid. Once you’re finished, the images are gone and you’re off to your next project. All of this was done with digital images as part of a pre-defined workflow process that was paperless, yet started at the Multifunctional Printer (MFP).
The printing industry has changed over the last 10-15 years. More importantly, the role of the multifunctional printer (MFP) has changed, starting with its name from copier to MFP. In the early 2000s, the copier really was just that—a copier. It wasn’t until businesses started connecting them to their networks that they became MFPs with users relying on them for printing as well. It was then just a matter of time before people figured out that if you could push printing to the MFP, you could also send scanned documents from it back to the personal computer or network. Suddenly scanned PDF files were everywhere.
The evolution of the MFP is really what drove the business community towards document management. With scanning so readily available business owners saw that they could begin digitally filing their paper-based records without the added cost of a dedicated scanner. These early adopters typically tried to emulate their computer file systems by carefully structuring a file system and naming the scanned PDF files. This was great for getting rid of the paper, but as volumes increased, it became quickly apparent that finding these scanned records was not as easy as first thought.
A document management solution became the next logical step with many users simply looking for a way to scan, store and retrieve their documents. Nothing fancy, just helps to get rid of the paper while giving a way to put your hands on important information when the time comes. But like most things, technology changes and with it changed the expectations of the business market. More and more, the MFP became less about printing and more about the flow of business information.
Quickly document workflow became the driving force and the multifunctional printer not only became the place for documents to be captured, it became the catalyst for triggering a workflow process. In just a few years, paper documents were now being routed to their recipients with notifications of their arrival being sent and rules defining the paths they would take.
Most of us can admit that we still love our paper and there are many times we want to print images and flip through the pages as we digest the information. That’s OK—the cost of printing on a MFP is about 10% of what it used to be on a standard printer ten years ago. If the truth were told, we would probably print just as much as we always have since information is so readily available and printing is just plain cheap. The difference is that we just don’t file it any longer, we scan it.
It’s only been about 10-12 years since the MFP was just a copier. Today, MFPs are already designed to handle specialty media, like envelopes and labels, easily. Certain MFPs are taking it one step further by turning into a full-functioning mailing center, printing commercial discounted postage directly onto your project—saving you additional time and money. The landscape of a typical office has changed and has never been so smart, or so easy as it is today.
The possibilities surrounding a changing business world are exciting and it’s not clear to many exactly where they’ll lead us. What is sure is that where document information is being communicated, it will likely continue to flow through the MFP as an on-ramp to digital information management and productivity.
James Walker, Regional Director of Managed IT Services
James oversees the Chattanooga, Nashville and Huntsville markets of our managed IT Services department. In his role he manages service delivery and support of engineers in all regions, does security and compliance auditing, and works with businesses in network design, implementation and troubleshooting. He has been in the technology industry for over 24 years. James is originally from Boston, MA and works out of our Chattanooga office. He joined RJ Young in January 2013 through the acquisition of his previous company, Preferred Computers, Inc.