As a company grows, the volume of data also increases, and, sometimes, handling it can be a very difficult and arduous task. But thanks to the evolution of data management technologies, you don’t have to waste a lot of time handling all the papers, documents, files, and other data. Instead, you can delegate it to Enterprise Content Management Solutions. What are these and why are they so important nowadays? Let’s delve deeper into Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and explore why it is essential in today’s business landscape. 

Understanding Enterprise Content Management in Healthcare 

Enterprise Content Management combines various methods, tools, and techniques that allow companies to capture and manage content throughout their whole lifecycle. ECM provides organizations with all the necessary means that help deliver important information and content to business stakeholders and customers. ECM encompasses all sorts of content-related processes, such as its creation, capture, distribution, retrieval, storage, etc. 

In the modern era, managing content ranks among one of the most important and biggest tasks, as the digital landscape prioritizes information accessibility and engagement like never before. However, without proper content management, many healthcare institutions are exposing themselves to several risks and challenges, such as: 

  • Data unavailability. Without quick and easy access to data, it can be challenging to make data-driven decisions. However, the provision of quick access should not be done at the price of safety. Data warehouses, combined with content management software, can be the best solution in this case, ensuring both safe and fast access to data.  
  • Underqualified staff. The skills shortage is one of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare industry today. Data management skills are in high demand, but due to the complexity of this domain and its novelty, it’s currently difficult to hire data engineers and other experts that have the required expertise and experience. 
  • Data security. With an increasing number of cyber-attacks and other dangers, businesses must take more serious action to battle these threats. Integration of an efficient data safety plan and a combination of the right hardware and software is key to ensuring that data is safe. Yet, it often requires a lot of effort and resources, and it might take some time to implement robust security measures. 

In order to deal with all these challenges and obstacles, companies often use Enterprise Content Management Healthcare systems. With their help, it becomes possible to not only easily manage content, but also safely store and distribute it to authorized users. 

Benefits of Enterprise Content Management in Healthcare 

Adoption of ECM in healthcare settings is a multi-step process that always pays off. And not only over the long haul but in the long term as well. Here are some of the Enterprise Content Management benefits you should keep in mind: 

  • Full or nearly full automation. ECM paves the way for automation, which is responsible for solving a myriad of issues, such as disorganization, substantial time wastage, difficulty accessing content, and many others. 
  • Reduced costs. ECM can lower expenditures in many ways, such as automation of most manual processes, minimization of security risks and human errors, reduction of storage needs, etc. ECM has the potential to bring about significant improvements in the way the company manages its budget. 
  • Centralized document management. Keeping track of all types of content, especially when there are many different types of it, has never been easy. However, thanks to ECM solutions, you can not only easily manage documents, but also save time searching for them and categorizing all the content. 
  • Risk mitigation. Keeping track of all documents guarantees better protection and increased safety, as it is always much easier to notice when something is wrong, missing, or unavailable when everything is organized. 
  • Scalability. The capabilities of ECM solutions grow along with the market demand, meaning that such software can not only be easily adjusted to the business needs but will also change and mature when those needs grow. 
  • Secure information sharing. One of the biggest issues many companies have to deal with is insecure information sharing among staff. Medical records, patient files, and other documents always have to be protected, but when they are shared among the workers, it is much harder to guarantee safety. ECM is what can serve as a solution in this case. 
  • Higher productivity. IDC claims that time wasted on searching information costs companies around $60-85 billion in direct costs, and twice as much in opportunity costs. Moreover, almost half the time employees simply cannot find the information they’re looking for. ECM might be a costly solution, but not having one is even more expensive. 
  • Better accessibility. ECM software organizes and categorizes content that can be retrieved by staff without any problems. ECM solutions ease the process of searching for a document and accessing it, making it possible for employees to focus on other tasks and spend less time obtaining a particular document. 

ECM is not only about accessing documents faster; ECM is a holistic approach to managing various documents and ensuring they are safely stored. The use of ECM systems can impact many business workflows and operations, so an early adoption of such tools is definitely in the best interest of healthcare companies. 

What are the features of an ECM? 

ECM systems offer a plethora of features that help companies implement various Healthcare Enterprise Content Management strategies. Even though each system might have unique elements, here are some of the general capabilities of such software: 

  • Automation. Even simple automation can bring outstanding results, and companies that go beyond that can optimize the process of managing enterprise content. ECM systems can automate many mundane and time-consuming tasks, such as accessing files, moving documents, categorizing content, labeling data, etc. 
  • Easier search. ECM solutions can make searching for documents or any other content much more accessible and faster. Partially thanks to automation and other capabilities of enterprise content solutions, it can take only a few seconds to look for a file. 
  • Integration with other tools. Many ECM systems can be synched with other applications and platforms, which makes the implementation of ECM much more seamless. 
  • Document scanning and conversion into an electronic version. ECM systems are capable of easily converting papers into e-documents, preserving all the important data.  
  • Document indexing and metadata. Most ECM systems support metadata, with some even being able to automate the process of tagging with the help of AI. 
  • Records management. Some ECM systems offer records management capabilities that companies can use to ensure proper document retention and disposal. 
  • Tracking and storing. ECM software can store and track all sorts of files. . This allows for better search of the documents as well as an opportunity to review different versions of files. 

With numerous ECM solutions available, it is important to analyze the market and the features offered by every healthcare content management system to make the right choice. This way, you will find the software that’s appropriate for your company. 

Components of Enterprise Content Management 

According to the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM), there are five main elements of ECM. Another term for all five components combined is the Enterprise Content Management model, and here is what it looks like: 

  • Capture. This component involves the digitization of paper documents and the extraction of data. It entails unifying all the gathered information and creating a structured format that helps to streamline management. 
  • Manage. The “Manage” element controls the life cycle of content and its compliance with the organization’s document retention policy. 
  • Store. The “Store” components are intended for storing information that is still in use or is not ready for long-term archiving. Companies can use various repositories for storage purposes, such as content management systems, databases, data warehouses, or file systems. 
  • Preserve. The “Preserve” component is for content that is supposed to be archived long-term. It is designed to allow companies to safely store various documents while maintaining accessibility. 
  • Deliver. It is employed for transferring content when there is a need to use any file or document that was involved in the “Manage”, “Store”, or “Preserve” categories. The “Deliver” content is commonly categorized into three types: Security, Transformation, and Distribution. 

These five essential “steps” of ECM allow for better planning and a more strategic approach to the implementation of a content management system for healthcare. By understanding the importance of all components of Enterprise Content Management, you can get the most out of your solutions. 

7 Important Strategies for Managing Enterprise Content Efficiently 

ECM practices are meant to ease the process of ECM solution implementation for your organization and make it as efficient as possible. Every company’s approach might be different, so it’s best to customize these practices and use them only if you deem them appropriate in your case. With that being said, here are some of ECM strategies to keep in mind: 

  • Know your goals. It is not enough to just have a vague understanding of ECM implementation, whether it is going paperless or ensuring better safety of your documents. There should be a clear reasoning behind the usage of ECM. To gauge its effectiveness, you will need to establish KPIs, and it is possible only after determining your goals. 
  • Have clear communication. Everyone in the company should be involved in ECM implementation and other related processes. Only by making a team effort will you quickly see a visible result. Communicate clearly, define roles in the team, and discuss any possible questions and issues, preferably before they arise. 
  • Create a detailed plan. Implementation and use of ECM systems should be mapped out in order to achieve maximum efficiency. The plan should include the goals you’ve established beforehand, all the future actions that need to be taken, possible risks and obstacles, and other information, if needed. 
  • Maintain consistency. The implementation of ECM is not the type of process that has an obvious ending. It is continuous, meaning that even when years go by, your company still won’t be over with it. This is why maintaining consistency in your goals should be one of the top priorities; otherwise, you won’t be able to reach the full potential of ECM tools. 
  • Conduct employee training. The introduction of something as important and complicated as ECM requires a lot of time and effort to get used to, so your teams will not only need a bit of space to learn more about the changes but also consistent support with this process. 
  • Team up with Enterprise Content Management vendors you can trust. To find Enterprise Content and Record Management vendors for healthcare organizations you can trust, analyze the market first. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and request information you are not able to find. ECM software can be quite expensive, so finding the most suitable platform for your needs is a task that should not be completed in a rush. 

The role of ECM in healthcare cannot be underestimated, but to make the most out of it, you should have clear objectives and understand why you need it and how to use it. To streamline the health information management process along with other operations, focus on finding the right ECM solution for your organization and integrating it seamlessly into your workflow. 

If you would like to know more about content management tools and solutions but don’t know where to start, get in touch with our experts. They will guide you through the world of ECM and show you a demo of eWizard, a content experience platform by Viseven for managing, creating, and distributing content. 


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