Document Scanning as a Strategy for Data Compliance
How Scanning Can Help You Achieve Regulatory Compliance
April 13, 2021
Handling personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), and customer financial data is a necessity for many organizations. Over the years the amount of personal data that businesses and agencies have to process has grown exponentially, and with that, concerns over privacy and data agency have increased as well. In response to concerns about customer privacy and data access, compliance regulations have tightened for every industry. Regulatory laws like the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are all designed to protect consumers and their data. Navigating these numerous, complex regulations is a challenge made even more difficult by the fact that the goal post is constantly moving.
Finding a way to safely and effectively store and access sensitive data is vital, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The first step to better compliance is centralizing your data and documents so that you can approach compliance holistically. For many, this means scanning paper documents and migrating digital content from CDs, hard drives, and other media into a cloud-based management system. Scanning and data migration open the door to a variety of tools and strategies that simply aren’t possible with analog record keeping. Many of these benefits have a direct impact on helping keep your organization compliant.
There is no single, overarching data protection legislation in the United States, instead, there are hundreds of disparate federal, state, and industry-specific regulations that overlap. Check out some of the most common compliance regulations your business might need to consider when building your compliance strategy. Click each link to learn more about that particular regulation.
HIPAA – Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act
COPPA – Child Online Privacy Protection Act
GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation
GDPR isn’t a US law, but it affects many businesses. If you work with the federal government or do any business outside of the US GDPR may apply to you
CCPA – California Consumer Protection Act
California’s law is just one of many state laws that govern how customer data can be used. If you do any business with consumers within that applicable state you will need to comply with that state’s regulations.
GLBA – Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
How Document Scanning and Cloud Storage can Make Compliance Easier
Cloud-based document management systems allow you to easily track who is accessing which documents and when. With the additional feature of document versioning, you can access past versions of your documents and manage changes to your content. A solid audit trail also improves your organization’s ability to find and address security violations or adapt to new compliance regulations.
Digital and Physical Security:
Secure access is one of the primary issues addressed by compliance laws. Ensuring that only authorized individuals can view or update PII, PHI, and financial information is an essential part of every data and document compliance strategy. Completely eliminating paper records isn’t always possible and so physical security remains an important part of compliance for many organizations. Key card-protected facilities, GPS-tracked vehicles, and locked file cabinets are a few of the ways you can secure physical records. However, digital security offers additional benefits not typically possible with physical security such as high-level encryption, firewalls, password protection, role-based access, and audit trails. Migrating your physical documents into a digital format allows for a more flexible and agile approach to document protection. You are able to maintain a layered approach the can include some physical security such as key-card access but add additional protections within the cloud.
Disaster Recovery & Data Backups:
Protection from both digital and physical security threats within the cloud means you never lose your data. It only takes one unexpected disaster to completely wipe out your physical data storage. Many businesses are never able to recover from a data disaster, and that’s why redundant non-localized storage is so important. Digitizing documents goes a long way to protecting your valuable data from physical threats like a fire or flood. However, digitization alone is not a cure-all. While it’s possible to digitize your paper documents and store them on a local server, it’s essential to consider what might happen if you don’t have additional, off-site backups of that content. Siloed digital content can be just as vulnerable as physical documents and it doesn’t do much for your team in regards to secure collaboration and data access. DIY physical or digital storage may seem cheaper in the short term, but it might not meet compliance standards for your industry. Cloud-based, fully redundant storage is the gold standard for data storage, and it comes with the added benefit of highly agile security protocols and customization.
Information Requests & Retention Schedules:
Some compliance regulations such as the CCPA require you to provide protected PII/PHI to the customer in a timely manner. Digital documents make information requests easy and secure. Customers should have insight into what data you have on file and how it is being used. When data is hidden in paper documents and filed away, accessing and transmitting this information to your customers can be slow going. Digital documents are easier to search and can be intelligently organized to make information requests almost effortless. In addition to easy searchability, digital documents can be routed through workflows that automate retention schedules. Identify documents by form fields, keywords, or other identifiers and automatically assign retention schedules that can remove documents or notify key users when the retention period has expired.
For some document processes, it’s necessary to protect PHI and PII through redaction. Manual relation is tedious and prone to error. Machine learning tools within the cloud allow you to quickly and accurately redact sensitive information from both audio and text files. Batch processing can make this process even more effective by allowing you to find different forms of PII across entire libraries of content. For example, machine learning-powered redaction can identify and redact social security numbers from forms automatically but by searching for numerical sequences, contextual keywords, or specific form fields.
Scanning is about more than just making paper documents digital. Scanning opens the doors to a wide range of tech tools that can improve other areas of your data workflow. As mentioned above, redaction, retention schedules, and user access can all be automated with digital documents. However, that’s just the start. Targeted data extraction, forms processing, and predictive analytics can set your organization apart from the competition. Ultimately, scanning is the first step in a digital transformation that can not only improve your compliance but help you deliver better accessibility for your team and superior customer outcomes.
How can DOMA help?
DOMA understands that your approach to compliance should be tailored to the ways you access and use data. One-time or ongoing scanning services can help you keep pace with compliance regulations while improving document and data collaboration at your organization.
We are here to help you meet and exceed the data and document compliance regulations for your industry. Whether you are a healthcare provider who needs a HIPAA compliant scanning provider for backfile medical records or you’re a government agency who’s behind on meeting NARA M-19-21 regulations we have the experience to get you moving forward.
Our scanning services incorporate the latest in both physical and cloud security. From your facility to ours your data security is our number one priority, which is why we use GPS-tracked vehicles with onboard safes and thoroughly train every staff member who will have access to your documents in data security. Additionally, our electronic document management system is a highly secure cloud-native platform that is designed to ensure your newly converted documents are instantly and securely accessible to your team.
About DOMA- Powered by Tech, Driven by People
DOMA Technologies (DOMA) is a software development and digital transformation company whose mission is to change customer lives by lightening their workload through faster and more targeted access to their data. Since 2000, our team of 200+ experts has helped businesses navigate all aspects of the digital world. We are a dedicated strategic partner for the federal government and private sector clients at every stage of their unique digital transformation journey.
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