With the end of the year coming, ThinkDox has had some downtime from the usual hustle and bustle. We have taken this time to expand our understanding of Laserfiche.
As an example: in genetics, systems of classification are the basis of how we compare, sort, and define genes, cells, and animals in such a way that we can build groupings across experiments. Metadata and classification schema provide the exact same abilities to an ECM system – if they are deployed and managed properly.
This means that you are limiting the value of your ECM system if your classification structure is designed to protect records. Records are easy, low return on investment items to have in your ECM. Moving beyond records requires clear management practices to keep your metadata relevant and aligned with business processes.
To describe a thing, you need to understand a thing.
This is the basis of our five questions to build an EIM strategy. The key to managing metadata is understanding how users describe, share, and access information. Without the basic framework, your efforts to automate processes and ease search will fail.
The goal is to extend the records classification to encompass non-records. This provides a layer of descriptors that can be used to delineate between records and non-records that are produced as part of the same process. This is the key for dealing with the emailed purchase order, where the attachment is clearly a record but the email is likely only important until the PO is acted upon.
A rose by any other name….
ThinkDox is a Laserfiche reseller and implementer. We provide both initial systems deployment and integration services as well as long-term support. Laserfiche is a no-brainer for organizations with records management concerns. The unique metadata management terminology and management is a key selling point for records managers; however, unique can be a detriment for communicating value.
We will use a metadata library created for EIM in healthcare as an example of how powerful metadata can be to both organizations of information and information security.
Laserfiche organizes metadata through templates. Templates are a grouping of descriptors that can be used to describe any piece of information – it is a very granular system. This can largely be thought of as a facet or taxonomy node where all of the metadata is related but describes different aspects of the same document(s).
For example, a set of templates was built that can be used to describe each step and the accompanying documents at each step of a hospital’s billing cycle. This will then be the basis of a process that takes the clinical notes and classifies them based on what finance needs to know to request payment.
In this example, dynamic fields have been provided so that the template can automatically populate additional metadata for each document. For clinical notes, the template “looks” for key terms like a specific ICD-10 code or disease description. This will then automatically add a finance related term. In this case, it would be the insurance billing code. This can then automatically queue up a workflow that is being used in the finance system—or directly in Laserfiche—for generating an invoice and alerting the appropriate employees. This then allows the use of a secondary tagging system to identify specific records or draft documents.
To further illustrate the power of metadata, a workflow was built that uses Laserfiche Forms to capture patient information. This automates the patient triage process by automatically linking the patient’s name to the ID already in the system. This can then be used for looking up existing records and starting a billing file in the background as service is provided.
Lastly, to show the full power of Laserfiche Forms when combined with a single, well-thought-out metadata strategy, the triage form contains a text field that will search for keywords via workflow. This starts the process for a variety of other processes and automations, including suggesting medical treatment and alternate treatment based on insurance authorizations.
A similar metadata management strategy can be designed and deployed for any industry. A metadata library provides a good starting point, but to see the real value from organizing information sources, there will still be expansion of this metadata to include organization-specific fields to each template and tag. As you end your year and plan for next year, consider adding a metadata management review to your information management task list.