A recent fire in Brooklyn put on display just how much some institutions still rely on paper records, and the dangers inherent in resisting the pull of technology and the switch to document management software.
Early last month a blaze in the New York City borough destroyed files stored in a massive warehouse home to documents owned by two city agencies – 40,000 boxes from the Administration for Children's Services and 32,700 from the health department. Additionally, the city's Health and Hospitals Corporation stored 700,000 boxes of documents there, of which 143,000 were subject to some damage.
Ian Michaels, a spokesman for the city's public hospital system, noted that the Health and Hospitals Corporation won't have too much trouble recovering the marred documents, according to The New York Times.
"Fortunately, as an early adopter of electronic medical record systems, H.H.C. keeps vital patient records in electronic form, and we do not anticipate this will affect our patient care operations," he explained to the publication.
Luckily, many of the documents stored in the warehouse were fairly outdated. One file that was found following the fire originated in Doctors Hospital – a facility once found opposite Gracie Mansion and acquired by Beth Israel Medical Center in 1987, The New York Times explained. The unfortunate part, though, is that someone was still paying to store the nearly three-decade old document.
Document storage solutions allow companies to keep their files safe from disasters such as fires, while saving on storage costs due to the lack of a need for physical space to hold old papers. Health and Hospitals Corporation, for instance, won't have too many problems following the fire, and that is because the public hospital system saw the advantages of switching to electronic storage prior to the warehouse blaze.