Wisdom from the Front Line of Info Management: Conversion Services

by | Sep 24, 2020

Emily Donley, our director of conversion services, manages the Imaging Office Systems document conversion lab, which is where many of our clients’ paper-based records go to be transformed into digital data and/or securely stored in one of our state-of-the-art, climate-controlled facilities. A mainstay with Imaging Office Systems since 2009, Emily works closely with our customers to ensure the information management services we provide align with their goals. She’s acquired an amazing amount of experience and wisdom along the way, and I thought it’d be a valuable exercise to give our blog readers a little sample of it. So, without further ado, here’s Emily…

Q&A with Emily Donley, Director of Conversion Services

Can you describe the role that your department
plays in delivering service to our clients? 

We provide several different services. We can convert their paper documents to digital format. We can convert their digital images to a different file type or produce microfilm. We can take their boxes of paper and store them…then provide access to the records as the customer needs it.

What is top-of-mind for you when you engage with a client for the first time?  

The most important thing is to listen to them and understand what their long-term goals and pain points are. Also, how do they search for their records now, and how do they wish to search for their records, going forward? My goal is to gain a clear understanding of the problems that we can help them solve. So, we’re problem solvers…and it’s really important to listen, so we can figure out the roadmap. We’re the experts, and we can usually give them several options to think about—some of which they may have never thought of before. It’s all about figuring out the best fit for them.

What is the most valuable service you provide customers during these current times?

We’ve been open and available throughout the pandemic. We support essential businesses, so we’ve been open to answer their questions and service their needs, as our customers have needed us.

What’s the advantage of working with us vs. our competitors or DIY?

Some of our larger competitors don’t respond to our customers for weeks on end. Our responsiveness, attention to detail, and our professionalism set us apart, no matter how large or small our customer is. It’s a cultural difference, from the top down. The management group that we have at Imaging Office Systems is very customer-centric. It’s what is expected from the president and management team, and it’s part of our culture. Our customers are top-of-mind with everything we do.

What are the biggest misconceptions about conversion services that you’ve seen?

The biggest misconception is that it’s just about scanning of paper. It’s not just about paper; it’s what’s on the paper that’s important. Sure, we can scan it, but how do you access that information from there? We work with the customer to ensure they have the type of access to the information that they need to serve their business.

What’s the role of conversion services in the larger context of developing remote work systems and migrating to cloud-driven business processes?

We can certainly facilitate that shift by taking over much of the role that a physical office traditionally played for a company that suddenly has everyone working remotely. For example, if you had a filing cabinet in your office that you can no longer access, we can pick up that filing cabinet, scan, and organize the information in a cloud-based repository that can be a stand-alone solution…or part of a larger company-wide remote work solution that provides a few different types of services that help companies operate without being in a central office together. It’s all about staging the information in a way that supports the business.

Talk about compliance and security protocols in the conversion lab.

We have background checks on our employees and provide HIPAA training on an annual basis, with trainings throughout the year. We don’t allow cell phones on the floor. Everything is access controlled and kept in locked cages. We keep close track of chain-of-custody for physical documents. We also follow HIPAA and the 21 CFR Part 820 quality for our medical device manufacturersbut all of our customers benefit from these protocols, too.

What kinds of things can you do that will make someone say, “Wow!”?

Lots of our customers come to us for one thing, and they don’t realize the range of services we provide. They don’t know that if they need help boxing up their records, we can do that. They don’t know that we can pick up their boxes and go through them and let them know what they have. They don’t know that we follow the quality system required by the FDA. They don’t know they’ll get a PMP-certified project manager to put together their plan.

What’s something that’s surprised you?

Nothing surprises me anymore. We’ve seen every type of scenario when it comes to managing documents and data…which is good! We can access that knowledge to help customers whove had similar issues. A lot of times, a customer will say, “I bet you’ve never seen this before.” But we have. We’ve seen pretty much every scenario, and we can provide our customers several options.

What makes doing what you do easy? What makes it hard?

The people that we have working at Imaging Office Systems makes it easy. Our employee retention is incredible. It doesn’t matter what department, and we’re all working toward the same collective goal—which is customer service! What makes it hard is when we encounter a customer for whom we set forth a clear path to help them become more efficient, but for whatever reason, they don’t see the value of the services we can provide. It usually ends up that they come back to us because the solution we recommended originally ultimately solves their problem.