Making The Move to Digital Government

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The way Government delivers its services is changing. Be it the paperless NHS or in local government, making the move towards digital government and working practices is in overdrive. The reasons for this are many; for one we are still in an austerity drive and, regardless of the outcome in May 2015, that doesn’t look like it is likely to change any time soon. Another principle reason for the digital challenge is that information is really the life blood of all government organisations. With information we can act, predict and plan. If information is selectively shared then services can be delivered that are reactive to an ever changing population with diverse needs.

Digital information is more agile than its paper predecessor. Paper can only ever be in one place at a time and if a citizen moves from one place to another then their paper records need to follow them. Moving and storing paper take up space and cost resource, resource that might be better placed elsewhere.

Add to that the security risk of losing records and the increased responsibilities for protecting and making information accessible that came with the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts and it is easy to see the benefits of going digital.

MISL has been working with public sector information for 34 years now. Originally in microfilm (to reduce space) and since the 1990’s as a scanning and document storage company. We have worked with many public bodies including the Police, Central Government, Local Councils and the NHS. MISL is currently delivering the largest ever bulk medical records scanning project for a London based NHS Foundation Trust.

Increasingly however MISL has realised that the key to meeting the digital challenge is to look at the information in a different way. The flow of information through an organisation throws up new opportunities to make the transition differently. How much paper information is generated every day vs. how much legacy paperwork is really looked at and viewed to provide services or care? In some cases it has become clear, for example, that moving towards electronic information capture first, together with tactical scanning of legacy paperwork is more effective than just scanning everything.

In some cases scanning all the back file, while freeing up valuable space, doesn’t stop the deluge of paperwork being generated every day. Agile solutions sometimes require approaching  the challenge from a different viewpoint.

For that reason MISL has devised a complete solution that can be adjusted to suit the organisational context of each customer. The tools that MISL has at its disposal cover the full gamut of the challenge. We can store paper cost effectively until there is a need for it to be scanned, we can carry out bulk or on demand scanning and we can design a process to better capture documents generated every day. MISL also has a fully functional EDRM system that can be hosted on the secure cloud or on internal servers that not only manages the digitisation process and serves scanned records securely at the point of need, but also allows for forms based data capture via the web or on tablets.

MISL has realised that pre judging the best approach is counterproductive. Rather we have built up our offering to cover any eventuality and can provide services that suit the actual needs of our customers.

We start by helping our customers to understand their information and define their needs. It is all very well stating that being paperless is the goal but what does that really mean? Is paperless simply replicating paper in a digital system or is it transforming a document into an electronic form that only allows relevant terms to be selected so that the resulting data can be more accurate and easier to analyse statistically?

The main unsung benefit of a digital landscape is that systems have the ability, under controlled circumstances, to act on the basis of information captured. Forms can be routed into the work queues of the best people to handle an issue. Systems can load balance work between teams and they can allow communication and case management to be monitored against service levels.

The MISL approach is therefore different. Yes, we are one of the most experienced companies available to scan in all of your legacy paperwork, but we will only suggest an approach that actually fulfils your organisational goals, whether that involves lots of scanning or not. The right approach for you won’t necessarily be the right approach for one of your peer organisations. MISL will build an end to end solution that works, pure and simple. MISL’s mantra says it all: Your data, your way.

Contact us for an informal discussion: info@misl.co.uk or 01992 470060