Companies large and small are responsible for adhering to document management compliance regulations. When looking to improve internal processes within your organization, an electronic document management system can provide increased efficiency at a low price. Cloud document management solutions have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their affordability and instant access. However, since your documents are stored off-site, many companies are worried about the security of their information. The fact is, in most cases, your documents are actually more secure being stored in a cloud document management system than an in-house paper-based filing system or electronic file share. Cloud document management providers like DynaFile offer increased security and compliance features that were previously unavailable years ago.
Depending on your department and industry, you will have to abide by a variety of document management regulations. Many cloud document management systems these days include standard compliance features right out of the box, but it's important to make sure that your new software is compliant before implementation. Standard features that you will want to look for are:
An audit trail helps companies maintain document management compliance by tracking all activity within the system. This includes changes to files, users, metadata, etc. An audit trail is one of the main compliance features you need to look for.
Version tracking keeps a version history of every document within the system. This is another critical document management compliance feature that you should look for when shopping for solutions. By retaining a version history of all documents you can ensure that content revisions and updates are done properly and in a timely manner.
Document control features are essential to any document management system that stores files requiring various levels of access restrictions. This feature allows you to specify which kinds of documents can be accessed by specific groups of users. Document control allows you to consolidate information from redundant files while maintaining compliance around access restrictions.
Naturally, some industries and departments require additional security to meet compliance standards. For example, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) imparts some fairly strict regulations for companies developing new drugs, foods, medical devices, etc. Pharmaceutical companies in particular must comply with a number of policies regarding the storage, access and security of their documents. If a company is found to be in violation of document management procedure, the FDA has the power to halt testing and production or even revoke their license to manufacture.
In addition to those listed above, DynaFile also includes some supplemental compliance features that are useful for industries with stricter regulations. Here are some more document management compliance features to look for when searching for a solution for your organization:
Today, electronic signatures are becoming widely used in a variety of regulated industries, however, they are not yet universal in compliance. For industries that do allow electronic signatures, companies can get forms and other documents completed and legally signed online in a matter of minutes. This creates huge efficiencies when getting things formally approved, signing contracts, onboarding new employees, etc.
If you have ever used DropBox or Google Drive (Google Docs) then you have probably used a document link before. Some document links are more secure than other, though, and you need to be sure that the document management system you go with uses a compliant form of the feature. For example, DynaFile uses encrypted document links with multiple levels of security. You can set them to expire after a certain amount of time or require that the recipient logs into the system before they can view the document.
Some industries require a strict document review process. This may mean that the reviewer is not allowed to modify any content created by the author. In these instances, simple review comments in Microsoft Word will not work because you are technically still changing the content of that document. For this situation, some document management software allows reviewers to look over the document and add "floating annotations". These annotations are positioned over an imaged copy of the document so that the author or next reviewer can reference them, but do not change the content of the original document in any way.
Searching for a compliant document management system can be a tough endeavor, but hopefully this article made your journey a little bit easier. To learn more about document management compliance regulations, contact us today. DynaFile includes a variety of compliance features and is fit for use with most departments and industries.