Setting up the ECM input and indexing process requires some up-front planning, says Sean Morris, Digitech’s VP for business development. The following steps are “typical”:
1) Analyze the structure of the existing paper record, based on sample charts.
2) Formulate a plan for organizing and retrieving the information.
3) Examine existing infrastructure and its ability to support the technical requirements of ECM, including available computers, and storage hardware. (Note: ECM systems like that of Digitech rely on software that can operate on a range of PC platforms.)
4) Select scanning method, scanning hardware. There are many options for getting documents scanned and indexed into an ECM system, says Morris. The thing to know is that the speed of the job depends largely on the speed of the scanner. Scanners can handle anywhere from 5 to 125 pages per minute (200-300 DPI is typical).
5) Capture technology/software. Morris says that, in order to ensure that your ECM contains readable, searchable information, all scanned documents must be processed using full-text, optical character recognition (OCR). Sophisticated OCR packages often utilize a number of interconnected databases to accomplish this task. “Indexing” the scanned information is also important, so look for a package with a configurable index structure and simple, point-and-click capabilities. After all, somebody will be pointing and clicking with it several million times.