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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

ball How much will this cost?
ball Is Electronic Record Storage Legal?
ball What is Paperless Archiving?
ball Why should I consider Paperless Archiving?
ball Is this process safe?
ball Do I need special software or equipment?
ball Why use a CD / DVD-ROM?
ball What do I have to do to prepare?
ball How secure are my records?
ball What happens to my records if technology changes?

How much will this cost?

The cost of archiving your records is a one-time cost. Most businesses will see a dramatic savings over the required storage life of a document while improving security and accessibility.

To arrive at a reliable cost estimate ARCHIVE-CD will inventory your documents. This inventory includes:

1. Estimating the number of records, documents, or files to be converted.
A single piece of paper with writing on one side (simplex) is counted as one. A single piece of paper with writing on both sides (duplex) is counted as two. Generally one four drawer file cabinet will hold about 10,000 pages or 2,500 pages per drawer. To ESTIMATE the total number of pages. Download the FREE Scanimator

2. Assessing the condition and format of the records, documents, or files.
Evaluate the records, documents, or files for:

a. Orientation of the print: Portrait (8.5 x 11) vs. Landscape (11 x 8.5).
b. Size of the paper: Legal, Letter, postcard, other.
c. Information content: Print, Drawings, or Photographs.
d. Condition of the records, documents, or files: Are there any folds, tears, holes, staples, paper clips, or sticky notes. Are the papers aligned neatly and uniform sizes or loose, consisting of many sizes and weights of paper?
e. Background color and color of print.
f. Types of Binding: Are the records, documents, or files loose, or bound in documents. If bound, the type of binding.
g. Presence of any special Seals (e.g. Notary) that may need to be enhanced to be visible to scanners.

3. Evaluating the indexing system.
How are your records currently indexed? Do you use a client's name or a unique number to index your records? Archive-CD offers many indexing options.

Archive-CD focuses on those files that are required to be kept but are seldom accessed.

If a record, document, or file needs frequent additions, deletions, or changes Archive-CD can offer alternative cost-effective solutions to better meet your needs. ARCHIVE-CD's Quality Control also verifies documents to ensure that all information from the records, documents, or files is accurately and completely transferred to the storage media.

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Is Electronic Record Storage Legal?
Oregon State Laws on Optical Images

192.050 Copying records; evidentiary effect. A state agency or political subdivision may, with the approval of the proper budgetary authority, cause any public records in its official custody to be photocopied or captured by digital imaging system as in the case of original filings or recordings or recorded by means of analog or digital audio and video tape technology. Each photocopy, digital image and analog or digital audio and video tape shall be made in accordance with the appropriate standard as determined by the State Archivist. Every such reproduction shall be deemed an original; and a transcript, exemplification or certified copy of any such reproduction shall be deemed a transcript, exemplification or certified copy, as the case may be, of the original.

<[Amended by 1961 c.160 s.6; 1991 c.671 s.4]>       Source--Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 192.

333-071-0000-- Medical Records

(5) The medical records shall be filed in a manner which renders them easily retrievable. Medical records shall be protected against unauthorized access, fire, water and theft.

(6) Medical records are the property of the health care facility. The medical record, either in original, electronic or microfilm form, shall not be removed from the institution except where necessary for a judicial or administrative proceeding. Authorized personnel of the Division shall be permitted to review medical records. When a health care facility uses off-site storage for medical records, arrangements must be made for delivery of these records to the health care facility when needed for patient care or other health care facility activities. Precautions must be taken to protect patient confidentiality.

(7) All medical records shall be kept for a period of at least ten years after the date of last discharge. Original medical records may be retained on paper, microfilm, electronic or other media. (10) All original clinical records or photographic or electronic facsimile thereof, not otherwise incorporated in the medical record, such as X-rays, electrocardiograms, electroencephalograms, and radiological isotope scans shall be retained for seven years after patient's last discharge if professional interpretations of such graphics are included in the medical records.

Source--Department of Human Services, Oregon Health Division; Division 71; Special Inpatient Care Facilities CMS (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services) formerly HCFA (Health Care Finance Administration) authorizes computerized health records as long as they are maintained in a form that can be reproduced legally. In addition, the Medicare Conditions of Participation for hospitals, Medical Records Services specify that hospitals must use a system of record maintenance that ensures the integrity of the authentication of the record and protects security of all record entries.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has permitted the computerization of medical records for many years. The legal concern is whether state laws permit electronic storage of records. State laws regulate authorized media for health records typically in their licensure statutes or administrative regulations.

Source -- The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) AHIMA
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What is Paperless Archiving?
Paperless Archiving is the conversion of records, documents, or files into an electronic image representing the actual page. This electronic image is stored on an easily accessed CD or DVD-ROM disk. It can quickly be retrieved as needed. It is recommended that at least two copies of a disk be made. One copy to be used on-site. The second copy to be stored off-site in a secure area. City, County, or State agencies should make a third copy to store with their respective governmental agency.
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Why should I consider Paperless Archiving?

In a study it was estimated that on average, each employee wastes eight (8) hours per week on paper documents.

The eight hours are calculated as:

  • Hard to find documents. (1 hour)
  • Document content is hard to manipulate and re-purpose. (1.5 hours)
  • Documents are hard to update. (1 hour)
  • Documents are hard to share. (1 hour)
  • Document content is hard to publish consistently. (.5 hour)
  • Document creation is an ad hoc process. (.5 hour)
  • Importance of document content is not obvious. (.5 hour)
  • Paper based distribution and storage is costly. (1 hour)
  • Paper based archiving is expensive and inefficient for retrieval. (.5 hours)

Source: The Gartner Group.

Archived paper documents, those records needing to be retained but seldom accessed are impacted by many of the above measures. Archived paper documents waste approximately five (5) hours of employee time per week (a,d,e,g,h,& i.). An employee at a wage of $7.25 per hour could potentially waste $1,885.00 per year handling old records.
(Multiply the average wage per hour per employee times 5 hours per week and times 52 weeks per year.)

Some additional statistics suggest that:
  • Companies spend $20 in labor to file a document, $120 in labor to find a misfiled document, and $220 in labor to reproduce a lost document.
  • 7.5% of all documents get lost, 3% of the remainder get misfiled.
  • Professionals spend 5-15% of their time reading information, but up to 50% looking for it.
  • The average document gets copied 19 times.
  • There are over 4 trillion paper documents in the U.S. alone—growing at the rate of 22% per year.
Source: Coopers & Lybrand
  • Thirty percent of corporate printed documents are out of date before they are distributed.
  • Obsolete documents account for up to 30% of document expenditures.
  • Document management claims 40 to 60% of office workers' time and 20 to 40% of labor costs.
  • Seventy percent of white collar time is spent on processing paper.
  • Eighty-five percent of documents filed are never retrieved.
Source: CAP Ventures -- Facilities Design & Management, April 2001
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Is this process safe?

Yes it is.

Your documents are converted to an electronic image format similar to that used by the U.S. Government to archive their documents. The electronic image is then reviewed for accuracy before being saved on a CD-ROM disk.

Your original documents remain unchanged and the process captures every bit of information including pictures and handwritten notes, exactly like the original!

One consideration to keep in mind is the quality of the CD-ROM disk. Some disks can safely store data for only a short period of time, five years or less, while other types of disks are more suited to long term or archival storage. Some manufacturers claim that stored data will last 100 years. In reality, CD-R disk storage in an office environment should keep data accessible for at least fifty years.

How do you tell the difference in disk quality?

Disks suited to short periods of storage use a cyanine dye polymer that gives it a greenish tinge when held up to the light. Long-term storage disks are created with a phthalocyanine dye polymer that gives a disk a gold color look.

In both cases, CD-ROM disks are made of plastic resins and are sensitive to ultraviolet light. Keep your disks out of direct sunlight and limit exposure to fluorescent lights.

Proper handling and storage of your disks will keep your data safe and accessible for many years.

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Do I need special software or equipment?

No you don't.

You will need a computer with a CD or DVD-ROM or a USB micro thumb-drive and Adobe Reader®.   The Adobe Reader is FREE.

You DO NOT have to buy any special equipment or software to read your documents archived by ARCHIVE-CD.

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Why use a CD/DVD-ROM?

Compact Disks (CD’s and DVD's) are available in most personal computers (PC’s). ARCHIVE-CD recommends storing your records on CD or DVD-ROM. Although many electronic image storage solutions are currently available, each has its Pros and Cons.
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What do I have to do to prepare?

You don't have to do anything. Just provide ARCHIVE-CD, LLC access to your documents.

ARCHIVE-CD, LLC will process your documents at your site or the ARCHIVE-CD, LLC office.

ARCHIVE-CD, LLC will remove staples, paper clips, bindings, etc. Any repairs to torn pages are also be made at this time.

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How secure are my records?

There are two issues to be considered when discussing records security.

The first is the physical security.
Are the records secure from unauthorized access? Are the records safe from harm due to fire, water, wind, or theft ? See Disaster Recovery

The second, concerns the ability to change a record from the original.
ARCHIVE-CD saves a copy of the original to the preferred storage media. This copy is an exact duplicate of the original. It can be printed or copied but it can not be altered after being archived. The archived record can be used like the original and is a legally accepted means of document storage.
See The Protection and Storage of Public Records
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What happens to my records if technology changes?

Good Question! Technology is changing all the time. (See Digital Imaging)

For years, Microfilming, despite its cost, has been the primary means of archiving old documents. Unlike microfilm, archiving your documents in a digital format enables them to be easily converted into new technology as it becomes available.

DVD was the next logical step but USB thumb drives, also known as micro drives, continue to expand their storage capacity.  Current USB thumb drive capacity is 1 TB and the USB drive plugs into any USB port.  Currently the USB standard is 3.1 - superseding the 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1 earlier versions
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