State and federal regulations often require government agencies, hospitals, social service providers and businesses to retain records for years or even decades.
Storing paper records in long-term box storage facilities can be a cost-effective way to meet these guidelines if those documents never need to be retrieved. But the recent fire in a box storage warehouse in Brooklyn exposes the inherent risks of analog versus digital storage.
Document management software makes automated retention schedules a snap
As important as it is to keep documents stored according to retention guidelines, it is equally important to purge documents after the mandated period in order to minimize legal exposure and costs.
It is far easier to store documents and manage their retention schedule once they’ve been scanned and are stored in document management software than it is with paper records.
A full-featured document management software – for example, ImageSilo – provides records retention capabilities that allow a group of documents to be purged automatically, based on predefined values such as document type and date. Alerts can be set up before any deletion to confirm the action and act as a safety net.
Contrast this ease and efficiency with the alternative of storing boxes in long-term warehouses, which requires you to:
- Know what documents are stored in each box, as well as the retention guidelines for each document type
- Contact the storage warehouse at pre-designated times, and have them pull only those boxes that can be purged
- Check purged boxes against a manifest
- And securely shred all corresponding documents
In addition to helping you meet retention schedule mandates more easily and efficiently, document management software also provides:
- A more secure way to store your documents
- Fire-and water-proof storage for added protection
- Documents that are legally admissible in court
- The ability to retrieve documents in seconds from any computer or mobile device (vs. the days it can take to get a single box out of long-term storage)