1.Secure Records Storage & Management
Your business may be required to adhere industry-specific safety standards in storing records and documents that may have sensitive personal information (SPI) or personal health information (PHI). These records need to be safeguarded from disasters and unauthorized access. Implement climate, fire protection systems, access controls, intrusion prevention systems, and barcode tracking for easy access.
2.File Indexing and Classification
Well-indexed and classified records offer easy, instant access at a reduced financial cost. When sifting through 1000s of records that have accumulated over multiple years, one may often come across situations like files misplacement. Delays in hours and days may affect business continuity, damage to vendor relationships and quality of customer service. Introduce scientific file indexing and classification based on age, time, file-type, active usage, access frequency and support of barcode, RFID technologies.
3.Records Retention and Shredding
Always stay on top of which records and until what timelines to keep to meet legal and regulatory compliances. Draft and establish a comprehensive document retention policy by consulting with professional records management consultants or companies who can offer personalized guidance on your industry-specific document retention and secure document shredding ideas.
4.Record Information Management Policy
Craft a Record Information Management (RIM) Policy and associated procedures to stay compliant with standard operational procedures (SOP), statutory and legal requirements. The RIM policy should be concise, defined roles and responsibilities throughout records lifecycle, training procedures, protocols for access, audits and version control. Let the policy detail procedures for multiple business function-specific record management guidelines. Make it accessible to all employees.
5.Train Employees on Records Management
It is imperative you educate employees at all levels in your organization about the importance of maintenance and management of company’s records and its’ policies and procedures. A timely training schedule about updated records management policies will help them stay aware of precautions, evolving compliance and privacy protection regulations and trends.
The above best practices along with growing best practices in records management will improve accountability, records retention, policy and procedures, digitization, access, documents disposal and meeting compliance.