Records Management - Dental Care

Marketing Team - Monday, April 21, 2014

                                Why is records management like dental care?

If you don’t take time every day to manage it, it costs a lot of money to fix the problems!
There are many sayings to describe the state of records and information management in American business:

  1. “File it and forget it”
  2. “Now that I’ve found it, I’d better make a copy”
  3. “It’s on the back burner”
  4. “It’s in the black hole”
  5. “Storage is cheap”

This mindset leads to HUGE mountains of cabinets, boxes, directories, file shares, etc. of information to go parse when business needs change, such as in an acquisition, divestiture, merger, audit, litigation and/or change in direction due to customer needs.

Managing business records is a matter of having the correct tools, just like in dental care.
Proper dental care requires daily brushing with toothpaste, a toothbrush, dental floss and a rinsing agent (water or mouthwash) and a cleaning by the dental hygienist twice a year.

Records management requires a retention schedule for records based on content, procedures for managing records based on format, annual clean up days and reviews of the retention schedule. Daily tasks include reviewing your email inbox for emails with business related content and preserving them in, at best, a content management application, such as FileBound or PaperVision, or at the very least, printing to a pdf format and saving in a file share. Outlook .pst files are not recommended due to the ease with which links can be broken.

A root canal can cost up to $800, not including restoration. A painful experience, both physically and financially. ARMA International conducted a study in 2009 that found, on average, employees spent the equivalent of $5,000 per year looking for “that email”. Painful.

Even more painful:

  1. Each Gigabyte of data equals approximately 65,000 pages of information
  2. Assume each document to be reviewed is 10 pages
  3. One attorney can review 300 of these documents per day
  4. 65,000/3,000 = 22 days or 176 hrs per gigabyte of data
  5. Assume contracting attorney for discovery review is $150/hr.
  6.  $150 x 176 = $26,400 
  7.  Storage isn’t so cheap anymore, is it?

Next month – inventorying electronic records. 

Cheryl Ahrens Young, CIP, CDIA+, CTT+, APMD

HSMG / Western Integrated Systems

Southern California Office

Direct: (714) 997-3700 ext 31

Mobile: (626) 824-1628




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