A document management system is an effective system utilized to get, store and manage documents and thereby reduce paper within a working organization. All the companies are adopting this system for better document management and easy document access. This system functions with the help of a physical or virtual file cabinet. Most of them are capable of storing a document of different versions made and modified by several users.
For better document management most organizations today have switched to electronic documents. Electronic documents are those that are written, read or recorded using an electronic device like a computer, PDA or mobile phone. These electronic documents are highly accurate because the words written on paper cannot be changed so easily. Another factor that makes the electronic documents highly accurate is the indexing in these devices. They can search through the files in order to find the particular document quickly.
Document management entails various important workflows. These workflows are the software required to transform, split and organize the documents according to their place in the hierarchy. The metadata assigned to a document plays an important role in these workflows. Metadata encodes the meaning of a document in terms of the content, date, authors, subjects, etc.
The document hierarchy consists of two major parts namely the files and the sources. With the files part comes the content of the document such as the text, the heading and the other features. On the other hand the sources consists of the locations where these documents are stored like the cabinets, the shelves, the lockers and other storage spaces.
The workflows that are part of this system include the process of capturing, storing, tracking, versioning and metadata management. With the help of electronic documents there is the easy accessibility of these documents even when they are located in multiple locations. This can be done effectively by converting the hard copy document into an electronic document. Electronic documents are easier to access and manage as well.
There is another important component of electronic document management known as an audit trail. Audit trail involves the review of documents in order to determine the issues that may be worthy of audit or not. The documents being audited usually include the software logs, user manuals, screen shots, etc. Thus, with the help of this component the entire foundation of the document being managed can be examined easily in order to identify the issues and correct them.
However, before the actual use of electronic format for document, several factors need to be considered. Before converting the document, the documents need to be edited and reviewed so as to convert the documents into the new electronic format. The documents also need to be scanned in high resolution and this will result in the creation of a digital image of the document. The digital image of the document can then be converted to the electronic format.
This is an important process in document management, as it provides the assurance that the document has a correct version and the latest version of it. Electronic documents ensure the correct document storage as well as its searchability. It also reduces the chances of any unauthorized changes being made to the documents. An audit trail can also be set up to ensure the correct version of any document. The audit trail process is completed once all the changes have been made to the document and it is ensured that the version being delivered is the latest one.
Document management systems provide a systematic approach to document version control. In a document management system, version control information is recorded in a database. Authorized users may access this database to check for updates or to make any corrections to the document. In addition to checking the date and time stamp of each document, the users may also enter their own notes and comments. These notes may then be stored with the rest of the users’ notes in the database so that every person can check for previous versions of a particular document and only the changed portions are shown to the users.
Electronic source code control systems provide a simplified version control process. Single source code, also called single-source code, is a technique that allows one single binary file, which contains the entire content of the document, to be edited in real-time. Single source code is useful for system administration and technical support and thus it reduces the time and effort spent during document alterations and editing processes. Electronic documentation provides a standardized approach for version control and auditing by allowing all users to check the date and time stamp of every piece of the document.
A formal document management process begins by establishing a physical system of storage where the documents are stored. From this system, the procedures required for document storage may be followed. The next step would be to establish an electronic workflow for document management. This may be achieved by establishing an electronic storage and retrieval system that include a clearing house, an escrow agent, and a version control and audit trail system that all work together to ensure compliance with legal requirements as well as to optimize the efficiency of the medical device company’s workflow.