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Possibly the most daunting aspect of implementing a document management system: converting paper documents to electronic files.
Some companies choose to scan all the paper at once, on their own or by hiring a third party to do the scanning.
But there’s another, more gradual method experts recommend for some businesses: the so-called “scan forward” approach.
In that method, the business chooses a cut-off date after which all new documents will be stored electronically. But rather than scanning old files at that time, existing records are only scanned when they’re used. Every time a paper document is accessed, it’s scanned, and the electronic record takes its place.
For example, a health care facility would only scan a patient’s records when that patient visits.
It’s not for everyone — some companies need quick access to all their records. But when possible, it can be a way to ease into the switch to electronic recordkeeping.