When it comes to storing and retaining digital documents, the importance of scanning should not be underestimated. These devices are perfect for saving space, cutting costs, and improving efficiency – you can access information at a moment’s notice.

No matter the size of your business, we can all agree that document scanners are game-changers. Without them, most of us would be lost, drowning in an ocean of paperwork and files. Scary stuff! 

Here at River City Data, we make it our mission to help you escape the monotony of paper, and convert to the digital space. 

But just how did such an integral aspect of our lives come to be so? If you’ve ever stopped to wonder( and even if you haven’t), here is a brief history of how document scanning came to be in your office.

The Humble Scanner

Before we delve into the history of scanning, let’s get some background on that crucial tool: the scanner. The device was invented in Kiel, around 50 years ago, and originated in the guise of the fax machine. The original goal was to transmit information for the newspaper industry.

The first scanners could transmit documents, in the form of images rasterized into pixels and lines. They were also fitted with sensing drums; this means that color originals could be read electronically for the first time. 

The color values were first converted into electrical current. Then, using light sensors, a photomultiplier converted the incoming light into electric current, before amplifying it. This change allowed a high-density range and proved a real game-changer.

The original scanner changed and adapted over time, before developing into the familiar flatbed scanner we all use today. This evolution moved the goalposts once more; it introduced the DDC element to form a ‘scan line.

This tool could use a range of color-sensitive photodiodes to read an image, and then reproduce it in color. Even better: it did all this for a cheaper cost.

As needs developed, so did the form of the scanner. Camera scanners emerged with free-moving lenses to capture 3D objects, and film scanners read slides and negatives. Eventually, the CCD chip replaced the CCD line, and this could read a color document in a fraction of a second, saving precious time.

Over time, the design adapted and changed according to the needs and demands of the user. The familiar products we use today have been on a journey, and are liable to change and evolve over time.

So Why Scan?

Just because we have something, doesn’t mean we should use it – so why did scanning become ‘a thing?’

While the first scanner as we know it was introduced around 50 years ago, the concept has been around for far longer. 

In the 1860s, the Pantelegraph was a device capable of transmitting handwriting, drawings, and signatures over telegraph lines. It was commonly used as a verification tool for signatures in banking transactions.

The concept of storing and exchanging information is not new, and we need to give our (several great) grandparents credit. Things moved on in 1924 with the invention of the wireless photoradiogram, which allowed images to be sent wirelessly overseas.

Moving On

The next stage in the process was the Belinographe, which arose in 1913, and could scan images using a photocell. The brainchild of Edouard Belin this transmitted over telephone lines and created the basis for AT&T Wirephoto service. 

Used by news agencies from the ’20s right up to the ’90s, it acted as the frontrunner to both fax and scanning devices.

Once the requirements of the industry evolved beyond the capabilities of the Belingrophe, it was time for the birth of the flatbed scanner. 

As we discussed, these are the most familiar to us today and gained popularity in the early ’90s. Flatbeds optically scan handwritten documents or images and convert them into a useful digital form for businesses across the globe.

These flatbed scanners are sometimes also known as reflective scanners, mainly due to the way they operate. White light is shone onto the object to be scanned and reads the color and intensity of the light reflected. Technology has developed and advanced, and flatbed scanners can now produce copies of up to 5400 pixels per inch.

There are two types of technology used in flatbed scanners, Contact Image Sensor (CIS) and Charged Coupled Device (CCD) technology.

  • Charged Coupled Device (CCD): The document to be scanned is placed on a glass pane; this can be a book, image, magazine, or similar. A bright light source shines onto the entire document, while a moving CCD scanner captures the content. The scanner contains three sensors lined up, each with a filter: one for blue, one for red, and one for green.
  • Contact Image Sensor (CIS): CIS also uses a mobile scanner, and again, this has a filter to distinguish red, green, and blue light. A blue LED is used to highlight and illuminate the document during the scanning process. Meanwhile, a monochromatic photodiode array is beneath the rod lends of the scanner; this collects light and renders the image.

How We Use Scanning Today

In the modern world, scanning is a crucial part of everyday business. It allows us to collate and collect relevant information without the need for extensive storage facilities. 

In addition, we can access the data we need instantly, thanks to electronic search systems. This, in turn, is a substantial time and money saver. Confidentiality can also be maintained and protected more efficiently, with electronic passwords and sophisticated security systems.

Here at River City Data, we work hard to ensure that your business can run as effectively and efficiently as possible. Our range of services allows you to digitize vast numbers of files, transforming your workspace, and moving your business forward. 

We offer a complete scanning and digitization service, as well as the secure disposal of any records once the process is complete. Why not get in touch today for a free estimate, and take the first steps to transform your business into a paper-free paradise!

 

When it comes to healthcare, document management is one of the most important considerations after patient care. Ensuring that documents are accurate and up-to-date is essential for the safety of patients and staff. In addition, healthcare providers need to have the data they require available at a moment’s notice.

The very setting of healthcare also dictates that the documentation involved is highly sensitive. Correct storage and adherence to confidentiality requirements are imperative.

Digitizing paper records is a perfect way to tick all of these boxes. It can also allow healthcare providers to manage documents in a secure, accessible format. Here at River City Data, we may have the answer to your prayers.

Why Digitize Documents?

Transferring documents to a digital format offers a vast range of benefits, and these include:

  • Saving money

This is one of the significant advantages of digitizing your documents. Electronic records do not require extensive storage facilities and do not need to be printed. This cuts costs on paper, printing, and photocopying. 

You will not need to have ample space available solely to store documents; the same information is securely held on a server. This can allow some facilities to downsize or rent smaller spaces – a guaranteed space saver. Using an online system to manage and retrieve documents can also cut staff costs. There will no longer be any need to employ workers solely to retrieve and handle materials. 

Retrieval fees are another issue often faced by those with a large number of documents. Many companies will charge a fee for the owner to access a particular document, or when a request is made. By moving online, healthcare providers place themselves in charge; there is no need to contact or rely on a third party.

  • Boost security

Holding all of your documents digitally helps to protect them against most external threats. Mold, floods, or fires can devastate a document storage room, reducing vital information to ashes in seconds. If details are stored digitally, multiple backups can be made remotely; even if one server fails, you can access files.

Sensitive patient data can also be held securely. Passwords can be reinforced with complex access requirements and systems, making it impossible for unauthorized parties to access. This offers greater security than storing documents physically, which could be obtained by anyone.

The ability to secure certain elements also helps facilities when it comes to compliance. Assigning different access rights can protect data for different files. As an example, the billing department could be granted access to payments and insurance, not medical details. This makes it easier to comply with key legislation such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

  • Increased efficiency

The time it takes to transport documents from one place to another physically should not be underestimated. Such requests can take hours or days, slowing down the treatment for the patient. A digital document, however, can be retrieved almost instantly. Any urgent updates or changes can then be implemented as soon as required, improving patient care.

Any updates which need to be made to a file can also be applied more quickly, and it is possible to update across several sections. This allows for improved collaboration and a reduced risk of errors. Misinformation will be picked up instantly, and the ability to update in real-time ensures that records are always up to date. 

Multiple healthcare providers will be able to work together, even remotely. This action could be beneficial for spotting patterns, anomalies, or errors across patient records. Overall, more sets of eyes could result in a faster diagnosis and better treatment.

By boosting collaboration, providers are also increasing accuracy. There is a reduced risk of having multiple copies of the same record, with no way of ascertaining the most recent. Instead, all changes and updates will be made in real-time, helping to ensure ongoing accuracy.

  • Easier updates

Most document management systems will offer the chance to not only store documents, but also make edits, approvals, and revisions. The ever-changing nature of healthcare, legal, and medical regulations means that there will be policies that require regular updates. By working from a single, central system, you can speed up this process, while also reducing the risk of errors.

  • More consistent care

As we mentioned, the physical transportation of documents is time-consuming and can have an impact on care. In addition, pages can be lost or damaged, leading to an incomplete picture if the patient has to move hospitals. A digital system allows any medical professional anywhere in the country to access accurate, up to date records. 

The system can also be beneficial for patients. Digitally storing complete medical histories eliminates the need for patients to explain their circumstances to every new provider. This is a process that could be very painful or traumatic, depending on the situation. Overall, digital files allow providers to deliver higher-quality and more consistent care to patients.

  • More time for patients

A recent study showed that doctors in hospitals spent 49.2% of their time doing paperwork, compared to just 27% of time seeing patients. Completing and updating records, transferring documents, and double-checking data all take up precious time.

Switching to digital severely reduces this figure, allowing medical professionals to spend more time with patients. The result? Happier, more fulfilled patients and more focused physicians.

Go Digital!

Digitization of all documents is the best way to move forward. It offers healthcare providers more of everything they need; time, money, and patient contact, while reducing costs, admin, and stress. Digital copies of records are also more accessible, allowing instant access, and reducing the risk of potentially fatal errors.

Here at River City Data, we have the skills and experience to help you make the switch. No matter how large the project, or how complex the files, our team will work with you to move online. Our services include full scanning of documents and the secure disposal of the records; this is essential for confidentiality.

Get in touch today for a free estimate and see how we could start helping you in no time!

 

In the modern world, getting away from the digital space is all but impossible. We store our photos in the cloud, get our music from a streaming service, and communicate across the world online.

When it comes to keeping relevant documents safe, the digital space can become your safe haven. Electronic document imaging is a brilliant way to revolutionize your record-keeping within a business. 

At River City Data, we have a wealth of experience transforming documents from a physical burden into a digital dream.

What is Electronic Document Imaging?

As the name suggests, electronic document imaging refers to the conversion of paper files to digital images. The term ‘document’ could refer to a scanned image – e.g., of an existing paper document – or an electronic document from Word or Excel.

Electronic document imaging goes hand-in-hand with document management systems, which use five main processes to transfer data:

  • Scanning

The first stage involves scanning a paper document and converting it to an electronic document. This file is usually stored and saved in TIFF, JPEG, PNG, or PDF format. It can then be integrated into an automated workflow for ease and convenience.

The software you use will create an image of the document which has been scanned. The text included in the image is readable by people, but not machines; a computer will see it as a picture.

Next, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software is used. This tool can recognize the text characters contained within images and convert the image to a machine-readable document.

  • Indexing

Once the OCR processing has completed, documents can be indexed. The report is stored using either the full text or additional metadata – information such as date, author, etc. This process helps the document to be found more easily once scanned. During the indexing process, searchable index information is attached to the electronic record. This stage helps boost efficiency and productivity.

Before scanning, documents can be fitted with a barcode page. This page contains metadata that can be customized, allowing a barcode indexer to index them immediately.

  • Storing

One of the benefits of electronic digital imaging is that it can be a brilliant space-saver. Space on an electronically readable media, such as a disk drive, is allocated for the document.

  • Retrieval

At this stage, you must ensure that the document can be recovered for viewing and printing.

  • Archiving

This step refers to the long-term storage of records – essential if you are required to store documents for compliance purposes.

What Is An EDMS?

EDMS refers to an electronic document management system. In short, this is a software system that allows the user to store and organize documents digitally. It offers a solution to storing large quantities of digital materials while improving searchability, retrieval, and efficiency.

Why Switch To Electronic Documentation?

Electronic documentation has a vast number of benefits, including:

  • Keeping documents safe

Paper is a material that can be very vulnerable. A flood, fire, or mold problem can render documents useless and illegible, or destroy entire libraries of data. Documents stored in an online server, do not have to worry about this. They are not physically present, and data can be securely backed up in a remote location.

  • Increase security

In a similar vein, opting for digital documents helps to boost security. When stored online, extra layers of authentication can be added to reports, making it impossible for the wrong person to read. Physical documents may be stored securely, but can, in theory, be accessed by anyone, any time.

In addition, files can be set up to allow different access levels depending on requirements. This protection protects confidentiality while ensuring that those who need to can access the data they require.

  • Faster retrieval of data

An electronic copy can halve the time and effort if you need to extract data from a document. With physical copies of documents, you need to navigate an elaborate filing system and physically locate it. Once achieved, you still need to find the information you need. The beauty of electronic management systems is that users can search for whatever they need.

This can also be beneficial if you re working with clients who require specific information quickly. Rather than lengthy processing times while you locate the required document, you can quickly search and supply. A great way to improve customer satisfaction and secure long-term relationships!

  • Share documents and data

In 2020, the vast majority of the world is online. By storing documents electronically, you can transfer and exchange information with someone across the globe in a split second. This makes it easier to work collaboratively, share research, and to exchange ideas.

The ability to instantly update files also narrows the potential margin for mistakes. Everyone involved will have access to the latest version of a document, avoiding confusion, which can result in errors.

  • Save space and cut costs

Storing files requires a lot of storage space, especially if compliance requires you to keep them for many years. Conversely, digital storage requires only a server to hold the same amount of information. Therefore, switching to electronic document imaging can be a real game-changer in terms of the required space.

In the modern real estate market, space equals money. If you do not need a secure storage area, you can rent or lease smaller sites or eliminate storage costs. This offers great space and cost-saving solution for your business.

Going digital can also allow you to save on staff costs; there will be no need to employ a team purely to manage documents. Instead, a single system can be set up, and all existing staff trained. This not only saves cash but boosts efficiency across the team.

The Future Is Digital

Here at River City Data, we have made it our mission to free business from the never-ending burden of physical paperwork. Our experienced team has the skills to scan, index, and store your documents, ensuring physical copies are disposed of responsibly.

Whether you are looking to speed things up, save money, or simply make life easier, we can help. Get in touch with the team today for an estimate, and take the first steps to digital freedom!

 

You’re finally ready to admit it– you want to write an E-Book. You have an idea, and you have the know-how to write it. 

Or maybe you have already begun writing an E-book, but have hit a roadblock in taking your ideas and organizing them into a finished book, or somewhere in the process of going from completed manuscript to a digitally published book. 

If you have a completed manuscript and are looking for assistance with formatting your text into a polished book, ready to be sold in the digital market, contact River City Data. Their editors have the experience and professionalism needed to convert your E-book into formats that allow it to be sold on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Developing Your E-Book Idea

 

One of the first tasks is developing your idea for an E-book. One mistake writers make is selecting a concept that they are interested in without first understanding if it is an idea that is interesting to other people. 

Writers should conduct an audience analysis. What are people interested in who follow your topic? Accessible sources of information include social media groups about your given idea, popular websites, and by informally interviewing others.

Before Writing an e-book, potential authors should always look at what books are currently on the market. While you should not write an e-book to please what you think that readers would want to read, it is essential to know if your topic has already been overdone. In contrast, if your idea has never been covered, this may be because there is not enough market for it to make it worth your time and effort. 

The best strategy is not to follow trends when choosing a topic to write about, and likewise not to anticipate what the “next big thing” will be. Instead, write about a subject that you are passionate about and have the longevity to be interesting to readers for a long time as they discover your book online. 

Writing Your Book 

 

 

Some first time writers approach writing an e-book for the first time by jumping in and starting to write without a definite plan in mind. They may feel that merely beginning is the best way to proceed. However, several planning steps can make the writing process flow better and help avoid rewriting whole sections as you realize that the book’s structure needs to be changed.

Writers should plan out the structure of the book they wish to write. For fiction writers, this can involve any number of plotting plans that exist, or simply writing a brief synopsis of each chapter. 

For nonfiction writers, there are several planning options as well. Start with your general topic and create a mind map of the topic and what you would like to say. Take these ideas and use them to create a basic outline of the structure of your book. 

It is essential to consider how readers will approach your book. Will they be able to find the information when reviewing your book? Will they be able to see that the whole book offers something that other information available online does not?

Once you begin to write, set tangible goals for yourself. Whether this is writing a certain number of words per day, writing for a specific time each day, or some other criteria, this self-discipline will help you complete the process of writing your book. 

Many writers also find that it is helpful to develop a routine around writing. This can take whatever form works for you. For some writers, things like writing in the same place, same location, or with the same music playing helps to set the mood for productivity. 

Whatever works for you, developing routines and deadlines is key to writing success. Consider choosing someone to hold you accountable for these deadlines, or announce to the world that your book will be ready by a specific date.

Finding an Editor When Writing an E-Book

One step that many first-time e-book writers skip is the all-important process of having the book edited by an outside source. Writers may feel like it is unwise to invest money before making any with the project. This is an important step because many writers cannot see errors in their writing when self-editing as clearly as an impartial editor can. 

Marketing Your E-Book

One thing that separates successful from unsuccessful e-book launches is marketing. This can seem intimidating because you just got through the process of writing a book, and now you have to market it? It can also feel uncomfortable thinking about asking others to help you sell your book. 

Select low-pressure situations where you can market your book. Places like alumni organizations, civic organizations, church or other religious groups, or community groups that you volunteer with can be great places that are looking for people to lead events. These can be great opportunities to launch or mention your book while positioning yourself as an expert in your field. 

Other promotional ideas include creating promotional posts during specific times in social media groups as authorized by group administrators. You could also consider giving away a copy of your book, writing guest posts on blogs that have readers from your ideal reader pool, and creating social media profiles on your topic. 

Formatting Your E-Book

Many readers have the experience of purchasing an e-book that looks promising from the preview and covers found online only to discover that it is almost unreadable because it is formatted poorly. It can seem confusing to figure out how to best format your e-book so that it is readable on the major e-book sales sites. Smartblogger.com lists this as one of the most common mistakes new e-book writers make. 

If you have a completed manuscript, contact River City Data. We can convert your manuscript into e-book formats that will work on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Once the process is completed, you will have a digitally formatted book that will be available to millions of readers online.