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!


Are you considering digital document imaging as a way to efficiently manage your paperwork and conserve resources? Contact River City Data to take advantage of their over 40 years of data conversion and document management experience. 

If you’re not sure digital imaging is right for your organization, here are some things you should know. 

Think You Have Too Many Documents? Don’t Worry About It.

River City Data can help you or your business back scan boxes of documents by the hundreds and even thousands. River City Data has the capacity for high-volume document conversion. We’ll also come to you; our trucks and trailers keep your information secure in our care from beginning to end.

A Document Preparation Process Tailored to Your Needs Is Important

Before you prepare your documents for digital imaging, you will need to choose a digital storage system. You should store your data in a searchable way, and that allows you to retrieve documents as needed quickly. 

Storage systems can include external hard drives, SSL, or cloud hosting. Talk it over with document imaging professionals to determine which kind of storage works best for your business or organization.

Once you know what kind of digital storage you want, you are ready to begin preparing your documents. A dedicated document management service like River City Data, will work with you to discuss your organization’s needs. Knowing an organization’s unique requirements helps document imaging professionals determine how to index and prepare their paperwork.

Attention to Detail Saves Organizations Time and Effort

Document preparation can include such detail-oriented tasks as identifying and disposing of unnecessary pages. Document imaging professionals will work with organizations to identify and purge papers that are irrelevant, unwanted, or unneeded. 

There are other intricacies that document imaging professionals oversee, which would otherwise suck up time and attention from your business. These specifics include straightening out creases, removing staples, and repairing rips and tears. 

A third-party document management service takes on this painstaking, time-consuming labor, freeing up an organization’s employees to do their jobs.

Attention to details such as tears and paper folds may seem small or excessive to most people. However, the presence of these imperfections can affect accuracy when digital imaging professionals index your documents.

Store Your Documents Digitally to Avoid Lost Time and Prevent Frustration

Once your organization scans and stores its documents digitally, mislaid documents will be a thing of the past. Additionally, digitally-archived records are indexed, and searchable. This new system will help you quickly find and retrieve what you need. 

Document imaging makes searchability possible through a process called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR recognizes in images text characters that it converts to readable, searchable documents.

Decide on a Format for Your Documents

Document imaging services can scan your paperwork into a variety of popular formats. These formats include PDF, JPEG, PNG, and BMP. 

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what each format is or what difference (if any) each would make for your organization. Even if you do know, this is an important determination that can affect your business’s data for years to come. Decide on digital document formats in cooperation with a document imaging service for peace of mind. 

Document Imaging Storage Should Be Secure

Once they are in the hands of a document imaging service, your records and paperwork should be stored securely. Ensure that the employees who will be handling your organization’s records are vetted and have completed background checks. If necessary, verify that they are HIPAA certified.

Find out whether the digital imaging service you plan to will destroy original documents for you.

River City Data employees are vetted: they have completed background checks and have HIPAA certification. River City Data will also destroy originals or return them safely to your organization, depending on your preference.

Image Your Organization’s Records and Paperwork and Prevent Disaster

Facts and figures, client information, and patient records take years to accumulate. In a disaster, they can disappear in an instant. You don’t have to worry about what will happen to essential knowledge and materials in the event of a catastrophe.

When you archive your imaged documents in the cloud or an external server, you protect them from damage. Floods, extreme weather, and fire can all wipe out physical copies of valuable information. Digitally image your documents to protect your business or organization’s records.


Up until now, most of the items for consideration on this list assume large amounts of existing records to scan. You don’t need an extensive catalog of documents or paperwork to begin digital imaging your hard copies of things. Alternatively, once you have back scanned your organization’s papers, you can start scanning as you go.

Whatever your organization or business needs, River City Data can help you determine the right digital imaging solution for you. We are equipped to handle a high volume of documents.

Digital Imaging: Save Time, Space, and Money

Save human resources, work hours, and space in your office area by digital imaging and archiving your documents. You will save money and paper when you switch to digital imaging.

River City Data understands the need for businesses to use their resources responsibly. We are a local business ourselves, based in New London, MN, for over 40 years. 

We work with clientele of all kinds in Minnesota and elsewhere. If you want a locally-based, community-oriented business that understands your business’s needs, you need River City Data.

River City Data for your Digital Imaging Needs

River City Data offers a variety of services beyond document imaging. We convert microfilm and provide document hosting and archiving. We also assist with disaster recovery and e-book conversion.

When you are ready to free up your business’s space and resources, River City Data is standing by to assist you. Contact River City Data for an experienced, dedicated team that will help you scan and store your data. Our representatives will be able to give you information on our services and answer your questions about pricing.