Will your document storage practices keep your company out of legal hot water? The answer may surprise you. Check out our checklist to see where you’re winning and where you need to catch up.
(Hint: Check each item off that you have covered to tally up your score.)
1. Several Layers of Security
You have an obligation to your customers and employees to safeguard their personally identifiable information. That covers a lot: names, addresses, social security numbers, bank account numbers, health-related information, and more. Limiting access to files, and storing documents in a reliable off-site facility are three positive steps toward significantly higher document security.
2. Online Access
When your document storage system includes online access to inventories and dashboards, you can easily export reports, request files, and add new documents from anywhere.
3. Catalogued Document Storage
With librarianship level organization in place and a process to keep your catalogue up to date, it’s a snap to find documents. The more care you take when archiving old files now, the easier and faster you can retrieve them later.
4. Bullet Proof Chain of Custody
In the event of a legal proceeding or third-party inquiry (such as an audit), you may be asked questions to the effect of “Where is this document?” “Who handled it?” and “Who signed off on it?” The combination of a records retention schedule and a compliant document management firm can help you maintain audit trails that keep your liability in check.
5. HIPAA and SSAE16 Type II Compliance
If your information storage procedures are governed by federal regulations, you’ll be subject to crippling, penalties if you’re not in compliance. HIPAA and SSAE16 are the authoritative standards for service organizations. It is important that you use a document storage service that has been audited for HIPAA and SSAE16 compliance; and is committed to continuous improvement in quality control.
6. Records Retention Schedule
A retention schedule governs a document’s “life-cycle” in your organization. It’s important because holding on too long to files containing sensitive information might get you in trouble someday. Shredding documents according to a records retention schedule will not only free up space, but also reduce your risk. Does your company have one?
7. Durable Document Storage Boxes
They’re the start and the heart of effective document storage. The boxes you use make a big difference in the overall security of your documents and files. The right box choice prevents damaged documents and makes tracking and security easy.