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Document Management Systems in Schools

3 min read

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Benefits for educators

The amount of administrative information that follows students, teachers, and administrators throughout and even beyond their time at school can be expansive and complex. Educators and students rely on documents daily to conduct activities and maintain operations in educational institutions. Besides the traditional challenges with filing, tracking, and storing these reports and records, COVID-19 and virtual learning accelerated a need for better access, workflows, and security. Document management systems provide the necessary solutions for both K-12 schools and institutions of higher learning need.

What is a document management system?

Document management systems provide educators with the technology to control the creation and access to all types of documents by creating securely stored and centrally located electronic files. In a document management system, a digital file can be viewed or edited by an individual only if they have the proper authorization. By implementing a document management system, schools can store, retrieve, and track the use of all electronic documents.

The five key benefits of a document management system for educators

The electronic storage of documents can benefit educational institutions in many ways. Here are the top five to keep in mind.

  1. Improve efficiency and streamline operational workflows. With electronic document access, finding the item needed is greatly simplified. There is no more digging through binders, file cabinets, or even a local hard drive. Document management systems offer powerful search capabilities that make accessing information easier. A system that includes workflow capability lets you streamline your processes for consistency and automate them to follow your business rules. For example, a letter that needs to be signed by a teacher, guidance counselor, and principal can be pre-set in a document management system to request the letter and move it forward for signature with a deadline. Digital signatures can be incorporated into the workflow, and an alert can be sent as a reminder. Users have visibility to where a process is at any given time, allowing inquiries to be answered promptly without the paper chase.

  2. Provide greater document security. The storage of student information today involves many aspects of that child or young adult, including academic records, physical and mental health data, and disciplinary procedures. Papers on desks or in file cabinets can result in unwanted access to personal data. In a document management system, all electronic documents are stored in a secure, encrypted form that controls who can create, view, update, or delete documents. This type of system ensures only authorized people can access the information along with providing a thorough record of file access and denials, making it easier to demonstrate compliance.

  3. Reduce costs and gain space. Digital storage and management of electronic documents allow people to find what they need easily while dramatically reducing paper, printing, courier fees, and shipping costs. A document management system allows authorized users access to the information they need from any of the school district buildings or university campuses, remote offices, or desktops at home. Paper-based systems also consume valuable real estate in schools with large cumbersome file cabinets. A digital system maintains proper record retention while allowing floor space previously allocated for files to be used for additional office space, cubicles, meeting spaces, classrooms, equipment storage, or whatever the school needs most.

  4. Access information remotely.The changes toward remote staff and distance learning call for a new way to manage documents from creation to distribution, storage, sharing, and security. Schools that adopt a document management system have immediate and secure access to files from anywhere at any time. Educators can route assignments, coordinate group correspondence, and access any other documents securely while supporting distance learning or working remotely.

  5. Mitigate risk and maintain compliance. The increasing number of regulations and the severe penalties that can result from noncompliance is a motivator for schools to store documents electronically and automate their records retention schedules.FERPA regulations that govern the privacy rights of students and parents, HIPAA laws that regulate access to private health information, and other rules, regulations, and policies can be monitored and audited effortlessly in detail with a document management system. Letters providing prior written consent for disclosure, records of consent exceptions, and other critical information can all be stored and associated with pertinent files. Having files stored digitally could also save your school records in case of a disaster.
Now is the time to get started

A new school year is underway. Registration documents, permission slips, and student health forms are all top of mind. Now is the time to put your school on the path to electronic efficiency with a document management system. The Digital Consulting Team at EO Johnson Business Technologies is here to help you kick off that discussion, ask the right questions about your school’s needs, and analyze the scope of the project. Let us help you free up your educators from the burden of traditional file keeping for the betterment of your school, staff, and students.

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