service bureau operations
Typical use for this process is the elimination of paper documents as archive in favor or electronic archive. This process is useful in cases where there is a requirement, legal or otherwise, to maintain an archive of a large number of documents but the documents are infrequently accessed and timely access is not important.
The major benefits of electronic archival are space savings (either actual space or cost of offsite storage) and protection from natural disaster (flood, fire, theft, etc.). Once in electronic format it is a simple process to safeguard the archive by creating one or more copies and storing those copies in multiple locations. Creating copies of the paper documents is usually prohibitively costly and time consuming, not to mention doubling storage costs. While natural disasters may not be common, the effects can be devastating if the only copy of the archive is damaged or destroyed. Further, increased protection from natural disasters raises the cost of storage, whether in house or third party.
Lastly, regardless of the climate control, paper deteriorates over time (again the better the climate control the higher the cost). Electronic archive lifetimes are advertised as up to 100 years.
Document imaging is simply the process of creating an electronic image of a paper document. The image is processed to ensure clarity and accuracy only. Images are stored in electronic format and identifiable by unique file names. No other information is extracted from the original document. The image is typically stored as a TIFF or PDF file. All media is inspected for errors before being released as final document. All imaging and indexing is quality checked. All blank images are erased. All images are de-speckled, de-skewed and rotated appropriately and re-scanned if necessary.
All of the tasks and benefits of electronic document imaging, electronic document capture, image scanning are included with addition of processing the document image to extract key information. That information is typically used to permit significantly improved irretrievability of electronic documents. You have several options for storing the index information some are dependent upon the type of electronic document selected. ImageWorld offers up to five indexed keywords of fields as part of its basic imaging and indexing package with the advent of the new standard ISO 32000 users have a PDF standard that they can rely on to be the preferred electronic document storage standard for years to come. If you want to create searchable PDF documents you will be able to employ many indexing schemas to retrieve your information. From the simple desktop search engines such as Google desktop or Microsoft desktop search to more advanced searching tools like Concordance or SharePoint or Documentum your documents will be a keystroke away from providing you with more and better information to give you the tools you need to make better, more informed business decisions.
At the simplest when the document is stored as a TIFF or PDF file the indexed keywords can be stored as part of the document itself. The document image(s) can then be retrieved via a standard file search. For example, Windows Explorer (the file browser not the internet browser) provides a search feature that includes search for keywords and or file name (since the document content is still an image it cannot be searched as text). The actual images can be on a local computer hard drive, a network drive, CDs, or DVDs. Of course, if the images are stored on removable media (CDs or DVDs) the correct media must be inserted. (Note: Given the cost of on-line storage many companies opt to put the information on hard drives with removable media as backup.) With images stored on local drives or network drives access can be controlled in the same way as for other sensitive data.
Indexing is accomplished by processing the images and using a combination of forms recognition, OCR, and information inserted during the imaging process (one or more forms is/are inserted prior to actually scanning your documents usually with bar codes identify key fields). The preferred process is processing the actual captured image using sophisticated software. The software can be taught to recognize your standard forms and/or to apply OCR to portions of the forms in order to capture information. Other processing can include recognizing check marks on a form (OMR – Optical Mark Recognition) and/or hand-printed form entry information. The processed information is then stored with the documents as part of the file naming and/or keywords.
Document or image management presupposes the completion of document imaging and indexing. At this level the images and keyword indexes are stored in a database structure that offers more flexible and often faster retrieval. Also you now have the ability to perform high-level statistical processing based on index keywords. An example might be if one of the indexes is client or product type and another is the year or service or sale, you could quickly determine the number of each type of client or product and further how many of each were processed during the year. But the real benefit is the ability to more quickly and accurately retrieve images. We can index and name documents by barcode reading and or zone OCR the exact information that you need to extract from the typed page. The ability to create this unique extraction of information gives each customer control that was before not available without considerable cost.
Information Capture and Processing
Information capture and processing is typically used when information stored on paper is needed to feed into other active client systems, an Electronic Medical Records /Electonic Health Record, or invoice processing system. The line between document management and information capture and processing is by no means straight or thick. The major difference tends to be the amount of information extracted, typically through OCR and integration of the captured information into another system.
The information capture process is time and resource driven. The amount of storage and computing resources required tends higher than indexing or management. The amount of software interpretation and physical validation required depends significantly on the quality of the original paper documents.
The effort and resources required for integration of information into existing systems depends primarily on the client’s systems. ImageWorld has broad experience with a number of different systems, sometimes it is a matter of structuring captured data so the customer can easily and automatically integrate the information other times the process requires analysis of the system, potential discussions with the system vendor and review of vendor documentation.
On Demand Document Scanning and Capture
If you are considering scanning documents in house on an on going basis you will be interested in our increasingly popular on demand service which gives you all the benefits of bureau scanning but for live documents.
Collection frequency is established to suite your needs. Documents are scanned and returned on a priority basis, usually the same day. Typically, this service provides input to a business process such as order fulfillment or invoice processing therefore information collection is more detailed than for archival storage. Your benefit is not having to hire staff and elimination of manual interpretation and information entry. Depending upon your needs and volume image capture can occur at your site. Call or e-mail for further details. We also have engineered drawings and blueprint scanning remotely and onsite.
Initial planning and project definition sessions make sure the project is on time and within budget! Our years of experience combined with your knowledge of your business ensures that we understand your needs and can establish clear goals and deliver on those goals. Our goals always include no or minimum disruption to your business.
The above lists of services represent a hierarchy of services beginning from the lowest level offered by ImageWorld. As you proceed up the hierarchy the previous services are required to perform. For example, document indexing also entails document imaging, document management requires both imaging and indexing. Information capture and processing usually involves OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and document indexing, plus it always requires document imaging.
An Effective Way To Improve Operational Efficacy
Scanning documents into an electronic format is a process being increasingly used by many organizations to preserve the enormous volume of documents that they generate during the course of their operations. In fact, it is hard to imagine major industries such as healthcare not using digital documentation to streamline the performance parameters of health organizations.
Many electronic medical records companies provide services for converting normal documents related to medical records to an electronic form. Effective document scanning solutions offer multi-use applications and quick processing. Companies are able to send key information across departments and through internal networks by scanning documents and storing them in an electronic form.
Electronic health records can help Healthcare Services provide faster and technically more effective services across the board. It is beneficial to both the service providers and patients, as it helps in easy access of documents and safekeeping of the medical records without exposing them to the usual risks associated with physical document storage.
Scanning documents and converting them into electronic form opens up storage space, which can be used for other purposes. The physical work that the staff has to do to manage documents is eliminated when the documents are in an electronic form. It also ensures the safety of the patient and the quality of care they receive. Caregivers can access documents when needed and access them more quickly than normal documents.
Electronic documents offer clean, secure and organized facilities for business organizations, legal files and medical records. Even government records and documents are being increasingly scanned and converted into e-form to ensure their longevity and easy retrieval.
It is imperative that you hire a firm experienced enough to create the workflow you need to and the end product you must have to create value from the conversion process.
ImageWorld has scanned millions of medical records in both color and black and white depending on the usage of the documents and the need for clarity in providing Medical Services. Many standard medical forms are printed in color and must be scanned in color to yield the information needed by the provider.
Each practice has specific needs that are unique for servicing the client base and the scanning service company must be in step with that need to successfully provide the needed clarity and search ability of the records.
How Long Does It Take
Many people are skeptical of hiring Document Scanning Services for the fear that the services might take a long time. However, the time taken depends on the amount of paperwork, the technique of scanning, conversion of files and other related procedures.
The Time Factor
Every business wants their files back as soon as possible. Thanks to technology, businesses can have their wishes fulfilled. The reputable services for scanning documents are known for keeping deadlines, showing that they can be relied on. Professional companies are always able to access your files on an as needed basis daily if so desired. You don’t have to be without access while the scanning process is underway. Normally a phone call will turn around a record within 4 hours of request.
The devices that these services use are designed for daily and heavy work. For them, it is child’s play to scan thousands of files everyday, thus, churning out millions of documents per week!
Now, a lot depends on how you send the files to be scanned. If you send them as stapled bulk, the professionals need time to remove the staples before they can start scanning them. This increases the document scanning time. Some businesses want indexing of their documents, categorized by label, time, or other factors. Indexing helps you classify the digitized paperwork.
Again, if you demand OCR scanning, the time increases. OCR means making your files completely word searchable so you can locate specific keywords and phrases quickly.
Discuss and Hire
You can discuss with the electronic medical records companies the time they would take to return the documents with all the required work done. The competent services can give you an approximate idea of the number of files they can churn out in a day for a more accurate estimation of the total time required.
In a nutshell, how long it takes for document scanning depends largely on the size of your files, types of files, and what other additional work you seek to be done. The charges of scanning also vary according to these factors. Make sure you choose a professional service that meets deadline and renders excellent service. A typical medical office can expect a 2 week turnaround from pickup to delivery of the electronic documents.
Using Advanced Technology To Deliver High-Quality Results
Summary: Document scanning is now possible in-house or on an ongoing basis for all types of documents with the best document conversion services in the U.S.
Press Release: Many industrial sectors have successfully carried out the process of converting information systems into digital formats. However, the same cannot be said about the health care industry. While there are a few major health care service providers who have carried out the transition successfully, it is generally observed that there is a lack of uniformity in the application processes.
The federal government has been trying to get the health care industry to show a higher sense of urgency in converting their paper records to electronic record keeping systems through effective document scanning processes. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was made into a law in 2009, which was instrumental in propelling health care systems data into electronic format at rapid speeds. The electronic health records incentive program has also kicked off, which makes it mandatory for health care professionals and institutions to convert paper documents into electronic formats.
ImageWorld LLC is the leading service provider that helps the health care industry effectively comply with the federal government guidelines on scanning documents and meet the HITECH challenge comprehensively.
ImageWorld is partnering with PracticeFusion to help the industry locate a single-source solution in converting existing records into electronic formats. They collect your physical medical records and introduce them to the web-based electronic medical records systems of their partnering company. The result is an instant transportation of the documents into cloud computing, which meets the compliance standards laid down by the federal government and the HITECH Act.
Since 2002, ImageWorld LLC has successfully handled over 50 million medical records without one single case of a lost document or process failure. They are fully aware of the needs of the health care industry to access records instantly. While in the process of document scanning record requests can be pulled in the short time of four hours by ImageWorld LLC personnel.
The advanced technology used by ImageWorld provides numerous advantages over other processes available for document conversion. They help reduce the requirements for massive paper storage, which automatically cuts down investment in staff, space, and furniture for storage. Documents can be accessed speedily and much more conveniently with ImageWorld systems. It helps cut down the cost of operations of any health care organization in the long run significantly.
One of the biggest advantages of using document scanning procedures of ImageWorld is that it mitigates the chances of human errors creeping into the system. It also prevents the chances of loss of documents through human error or because of natural disaster.
The new standards that are being developed for maintaining health care records in electronic format are tough to comply with unless you employ the services of a professional and experienced service provider. ImageWorld fits that bill perfectly. Their main objective is to create systems that satisfy the exact organizational demands of their clients. They use Kofax VRS technology for carrying out the conversion process.
The technology used has the ability to adjust the image automatically, which results in a document that is far superior in quality in many cases when compared to the original.
Five Stage Process Services
Define Requirements & Parameters
Using project and analysis tools appropriate to your organization and with involvement of appropriate personnel project requirements are defined. Once defined the requirements are presented for approval or adjustment. The final approved requirements become the basis of the tailored solution developed to convert your paper to organizational information. At minimum the project requirements will address,
- actual or estimated number of documents
- custody process to log and label your documents
- potential requirements to access hard-copy while in our possession
- turnaround time requirements
- format of final electronic documents
- naming conventions for files
- indexing requirements for document or form types
- OCR requirements
- Retrieval and viewing requirements
- delivery media (CD, DVD, hard drive)
- disposition of hard copy documents (retain for a period, return to you, destroy).
Physical files are prepared for scanning (and if to be returned re-assembled after scanning),
- ensure that the order of each file is maintained,
- staple removal
- binding removal
- document repair
- page orientation
- any required special handling of attached notes, color images and media.
During the actual scanning process focus is on,
- image settings
- file format
- page size
- paper thickness
- handling of blank pages, and any special processing of
- odd-size pages,
- color images, and
- duplex scanning.
- Final step is a review of the scanned files to ensure accuracy and that all imaging requirements are met.
This is the beginning of the conversion of captured images to information. Major steps include,
- OCR of all or portions of an image, if specified
- Indexing of key words/fields as defined in the requirements – based upon
- form type recognition
- information typed or handwritten within the image
- grouping or batching of images as per defined criteria
- (to the extent possible indexing is accomplished via sophisticated software but often requires human intervention and is always validated by human review)
- Naming of files as per defined requirements
- Integration of images and indices as per defined requirements
- Loading of files into the search and viewing software structure
- Quality review of finished product
- Transfer of finished product to defined output media (CD, DVD, Hard Drive, Network Attached Storage)
- Creation of finished product backup on DVD or CD
- Delivery of electronic product
- Return or destruction of physical files as per requirements (note that physical files can be returned after the scanning and quality validation process if required).
Our primary markets are Virginia VA, Maryland MD and Washington DC.