Compliance is an important part of any business, especially if you face industry-specific regulations like HIPAA. The good news is that document management can help overcome data challenges and help your business stay compliant without complicating workflows or reducing efficiency.
Here's what you need to know about using document management for compliance.
Document Management: A Look at Regulatory Compliance
Although document management can be used for a variety of purposes, one of its best and most important features is its ability to help your company adapt to different data regulations. That's good news, because privacy is becoming an especially hot topic, which means it's important for your organization to have a clear yet simple plan for remaining compliant.
Here are just a few different regulations document management can help you adhere to:
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is perhaps the best-known regulation among everyday consumers. It applies to businesses in the healthcare industry, helping protect patient and employee information regarding things like:
- Insurance claims.
- Medical conditions.
- Doctor referrals.
- Prescription information.
Although it's specific to healthcare, HIPAA sets standards for data security and privacy that other industries can use as a benchmark.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) is a regulation protecting financial data. It applies to business like commercial banks and brokers, where a data breach or potential misuse could be especially damaging. Like HIPAA, GLBA sets standards that can help other industries better manage their own data--like the requirement for tracking any modification made to a file.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 applies to any company that sells products or offers services to customers--which means you definitely fall into this category. It has certain regulations in common with both HIPAA and GLBA, like ensuring confidentiality, but may be more general because it isn't limited to any single industry.
How Document Management Keeps You Compliant
Whether you're juggling multiple regulations or just trying to contend with the basics, there's good news: Document management can help you set and reach high regulatory standards.
Take a look at these document management solutions for compliance:
#1: Process automation
Human error is just one of many risks to your company's data. To avoid this issue, document management allows you to automate certain tasks--and the benefits can be felt across your business. For example, your people will be freed up to work on more complex, higher-value tasks, while you can rest assured that those repetitive processes occur in exactly the same way every time.
#2: Version control
Version control gives you the power to make sure you're working on the most up-to-date version of a file every time you open it. But there's more to the story--for example, this solution also helps you keep track of who's making which changes and what data is being altered. This aligns with many modification tracking requirements, like those outlined by GLBA.
#3: User authentication and access control
With document management, you can set up simple but effective access solutions to better protect your files. Multi-factor authentication requires users to take multiple steps to "prove" their identity, which means hackers can't get through even if they do find a single piece of login information. Access control takes things one step further, allowing you to manage permissions for employees of different levels.
#4: Audit reports
Audit reports help you take a step back and view documents as an entire lifecycle. These reports contain information about a document's creation, edits, storage, access history, share history, and more, allowing you to keep track of everything that happens to your data.
#5: Document archiving
Many regulations stipulate that you must store documents for a certain period of time before they can be destroyed. If you were to store these documents in a file cabinet, you'd quickly run out of room--and you'd have a hard time protecting them, too. Luckily, document management provides simple, effective document archiving so you can store historical files in case of an audit, compliance need, or other requirement.
In conclusion, document management has a solution for every regulation and then some. No matter what compliance expectations your business is facing, document management can make a difference with approaches like these.
Ready to see how document management can keep you compliant? Contact us today for all the help you need!