How to Get Ready for an Imaging Project: Part Two

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Starting an imaging project is more than scanning documents. In Part 1 of this series, we looked at your records management requirements for your imaging program and answered 8 questions to determine your organization’s readiness. In Part 2 we’ll help you determine your Imaging Process Requirements before launching your document conversion project.

Imaging Process Requirements

Scanning documents doesn’t mean you can destroy all the originals—legal and operational requirements have to be taken into account.

At a high level, you need to know:

  • if your organization is allowed to destroy paper records once electronic versions are created
  • which laws and rules of court govern your organization in this matter (the answer depends on your location and type of business as well as other factors)
  • that qualified legal counsel has been retained for advice on applying relevant statues and regulations

Here some general legal guidelines to keep in mind:

  • the law typically prefers records be kept in the format in which the transaction occurred
  • most major evidence law allows for conversion of original documents to a new medium or format
  • scanned images can often meet discovery and / or retention requirements

Obviously, being able to give reliable assurance of the integrity of your scanned images is key. Could your organization provide that “reliable assurance”? The following questions will help you answer that:

1. Have you performed a review of all applicable standards in the areas of records management, electronic records systems, document imaging, and information security?

2. Have you obtained formal senior management endorsement for the imaging program, including documentation that digital image capture is part of the normal and ordinary course of business at your organization?

3. Have you developed a detailed Procedures Manual that meets the requirements of applicable industry standards? These standards may outline specific requirements for manual content, such as procedures on device preparation, image capture, quality control, secure records storage and destruction of original paper records?

4. Are all computer hardware and software that impact the imaging process certified as meeting applicable technical standards?

5. Are all personnel engaged in the imaging process subject to appropriate organizational security protocols? Depending on your organization’s business context, examples of these protocols may include criminal background checks and confidentiality agreements.

6. Have all physical records identified for inclusion in the imaging program been reviewed to ensure that they are capable of being scanned and retained? Records may not meet this requirement if they are damaged, faded or contain physical authentication features that cannot be reliably reproduced in electronic image form.

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