Electronic Records Management and ERM systems (2023)

If you keep an eye out during your day, you will see a lot of paper floating around. Much of it started out digitally. People may be printing copies for convenience, but the original electronic file is sitting on a computer somewhere. When it comes to records, the same behavior applies. There are a lot of physical records, but most of those records have a digital origin.

Your organization should be managing as many of its records as possible electronically. While it may be too much work to scan all of your older records, you need to be managing newer records as electronic documents in an electronic records management system. As we will see in a moment, this approach enables you to perform enhanced tasks and reduces the burden on your records managers.

What is electronic records management?

Electronic records management (ERM) is the management of electronic files and documents as records. The key difference between ERM and the traditional records management of physical records is the focus. ERM captures records as part of a digital business process. You are preserving the original digital records, not paper copies that pile up in boxes in storerooms or warehouses. This enables you to create efficiencies by improving automation of your business activities, providing accurate auditing and applying your records schedules reliably.

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(Video) What is Electronic Records Management (ERM)?

Why do you need ERM?

ERM is a key component of any digital transformation strategy and information governance effort. Many organizations have an deep fear of ERM efforts because they have a history of adding risk and overhead to projects. But the reality is that when you view ERM as part of your information management efforts, you can realize great gains for your business. By managing records electronically, you can automatically capture document metadata, which your ERM can use for identifying records, categorizing them, and facilitating their retrieval. Additionally, your records managers can place tighter controls on the files, and eliminating duplicate copies becomes a simple maintenance task.

Digital records management helps ensure that information is captured, older versions are removed and people can find the right information when they need it. It helps you understand past decisions and respond to eDiscovery requests, because you can quickly find all relevant evidence. You can also prove that any requested document that has reached the end of its records retention schedule is truly gone.

In addition, ERM helps you achieve and quickly prove your compliance with internal policies and external requirements, so your organization can get back to delivering on its mission.

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What are the most important capabilities of a modern electronic records management system?

ERM systems have been around since the late 1990s. For years, they integrated with leading document management systems. As electronic records increased, file plans, automated disposition of records and integration with archiving software became standard features of document management solutions.

However, systems that simply copy records management practices from the physical to digital world miss out on many of the benefits of working with electronic information. Therefore, modern ERM systems understand that your digital files are not going to be created in or reside in the same location; they must be able to manage and ingest records automatically from multiple source (e.g., SharePoint, file stores and email). Those records must then be readily available to people regardless of their business context.

ERM systems also need to be able to manage records in place. Records are not stale snapshots that are taken and then archived. Records provide information that can drive business processes throughout the organization.

There are two additional important features of a modern ERM system: auto-classification and records federation. Both of them help people focus more on their work and less on the records management happening around them.

  • Auto-classification is essential for accuracy and completeness. Even people with the best intentions are fallible and will make mistakes when declaring records. Other people will simply skip the task altogether; the biggest lie ever told to a records manager is, “I will declare those as records after lunch.” Making the declaration of records automatic removes the burden from your employees and ensures records are declared and managed properly.
  • Federated records management enables you to manage records where they live. Historically, ERMs ingested all electronic files and placed them in a central repository. This led to problems when people needed to find, access and use content after it had been declared a record. Federation enables an ERM to reach out to other systems, identify records and place them under proper management and retention schedules — without negatively impacting business processes.

How do you choose an ERM system?

To choose the right ERM system for your organization, you need to take into account two main factors: your current level of risk exposure and the maturity of your information management systems. These are tightly coupled together but will drive your decision process from two distinct angles.

When considering risk, look at how records are currently managed. Are they already stored in a management system? Even if it is not a proper ERM, having your electronic information already in an information management application is a good start. If something happened, you could likely find what you needed. If, on the other hand, your records are on people’s personal network drives and shared via email, that is a high-risk situation.

(Video) Electronic Record Management Systems | Information Systems

This brings us to the maturity of your current information management infrastructure. Many organizations are using a mix of systems to store their information. This is normal, since different groups in the organizations work with information in different ways and they need systems that match how they work. More mature organizations realize this and ensure that the systems used are known and fit within the broader architecture. Organizations with less mature information management infrastructures aren’t even sure what is out there beyond email and financial management tools.

Looking at these two factors, you can determine whether your organization needs a system that can also serve as a repository for some of your records. On the other hand, you might need an ERM that simply acts as a policy manager, applying controls to records where they are currently living. Knowing where you are and where you are going will make a big difference in picking the right ERM.


The real question isn’t whether your organization needs an ERM; it’s what kind of system you need and how much work you need to do to improve your digital processes first. ERMs work best when they are integrated into your business processes, so having your processes defined and digital is always a good first step.

(Video) ANU Electronic Records Management System (ERMS) — demonstration 1

Remember, implementing an ERM is more than just solving a records problem. It is the final step of managing your digital world and bringing your digital processes under control. Capturing records enables your organization to look back and determine how to do things better. Only by fully grasping the size and scope of your electronic information can you truly prepare your organization for the digital world of the next decade.

Electronic Records Management and ERM systems (1)

Martin Garland

(Video) ANU Electronic Records Management System (ERMS) — introduction

Martin Garland, one of the three founders of Concept Searching, now part of Netwrix Corporation, has over 27 years’ experience in search, classification, and enterprise content management. His keen understanding of the information management landscape and his business acumen provide a solid foundation for guiding organizations to achieve their business objectives using best practices, industry experience, and technology. Martin’s expertise has assisted multi-national clients in diverse industries to understand the value of managing unstructured content to improve business processes. Martin was instrumental in setting the strategic direction for Concept Searching and navigating its acquisition by Netwrix Corporation. Martin serves as President of the Concept Searching business unit at Netwrix Corporation.


What is electronic records management ERM? ›

Electronic records management [ERM] is using automated techniques to manage records regardless of format. Electronic records management is the broadest term that refers to electronically managing records on varied formats, be they electronic, paper, microform, etc.

What is the use of electronic records management system? ›

The primary function of an EDMS is to manage electronic information within an organization's workflow. A basic EDMS should include document management, workflow, text retrieval, and imaging.

What is the difference between EDMS and ERMS? ›

Like an EDMS, they may be as small as a stand alone desk top system or as large as an enterprise wide server-based system. Unlike an EDMS one cannot edit or revise documents or content once they are declared in an ERMS. An ERMS has the functionality to: receive of records.

Why Electronic Records Management ERM is a senior management issue and not simply an IT issue? ›

Explain why an ERM is a senior management issue and not simply an IT issue? While ERM is a technology-based system that relies on a string IT team to maintain the servers and data, senior management is responsible for what records and information is stored.

What is the importance of ERM in an organization? ›

An ERM program can help increase awareness of business risks across an entire organization, instill confidence in strategic objectives, improve compliance with regulatory and internal compliance mandates and enhance operational efficiency through more consistent applications of processes and controls.

What are three benefits of the electronic records management system? ›

In addition to improving business productivity, here are the top benefits of implementing an electronic document management system for your business.
  • Reduced Storage Space. ...
  • Enhanced Security. ...
  • Improved Regulatory Compliance. ...
  • Easier Document Retrieval. ...
  • Better Collaboration. ...
  • Better Backup and Disaster Recovery.
19 Mar 2015

What are examples of electronic records? ›

Examples of electronic records include: e-mail messages, word- processed documents, electronic spreadsheets, digital images and databases.

What is an example of records management? ›

The documents administered through records management include anything produced as the result of a business transaction. Examples of the records that may be managed include paper documents, audio and video recordings, emails, and instant message logs.

What are 4 core functions of EMR EHR? ›

Core Functions of EHRs: Clinical Decision Support

Flags for potentially inappropriate medication doses or frequencies. Alerts about potential drug interactions. Reminders to clinicians to provide appropriate preventive care screenings.

Is SharePoint an EDM? ›

Microsoft Sharepoint : currently the best EDM software for easy and efficient document management ! All documents are stored in one single location, collaborators have access to up-to-date relevant information concerning invoices, quotes, customer data, price lists, etc.

What is EDMS data Source? ›

An electronic document management system (EDMS) is a software system for organizing and storing different kinds of documents. This type of system is a more particular kind of document management system, a more general type of storage system that helps users to organize and store paper or digital documents.

What is the difference between ECM and DMS? ›

ECM: ECM or Enterprise Content Management is defined as a formalized means for storing and managing an organization's process documentation and other content. DMS: DMS or Document Management System is defined as computer system used to track and store electronic documents.

What are the 8 components of ERM? ›

The COSO framework for ERM identifies eight components: internal environment, objective setting, event identification, risk assessment, risk response, control activities, information & communication, and monitoring.

What are the four objectives of ERM? ›

The framework emphasizes entity wide risk management across four objectives: strategic, operations, reporting, and compliance.

What are the 3 purposes of records management? ›

B. Records Management Objectives
  • Protect institutional information resources throughout their life cycle. ...
  • Improve the flow of information in the organization.
  • Establish a records management component in institutional information resource policy and planning.

What is the most important component of ERM? ›

Risk response is the most important component when applying the ERM framework to strategy setting and business planning. The way an entity responds to risk is just as important as the way an entity plans for risk.

What is the key to effective ERM? ›

Risk appetite, risk measurement, culture and governance, data management, risk controls, scenario planning and stress testing are among the critical components of a successful enterprise risk management program.

What are the challenges of electronic records management? ›

Electronic Records Management Challenges
  • Retention Schedules.
  • Records Destruction or Transfer.
  • Tip Sheets and Guidance.
  • Workshops and Training.
  • OSU Records Management Policy.
  • Laws and Regulations.
  • Topics and Resources.

What are the three types of electronic records? ›

This chapter also offers advice on some tools and methods to help you, as well as discussion of three common types of electronic records: digital images, e-mail, and web pages.

What are the 4 categories of records? ›

Types of Records
  • I. Administrative Records. Records which pertain to the origin, development, activities, and accomplishments of the agency. ...
  • II. Legal Records. ...
  • III. Fiscal Records. ...
  • IV. Historical Records. ...
  • V. Research Records. ...
  • VI. Electronic Records.

What are the characteristics of electronic records? ›

Authenticity, Accuracy, Integrity, Accessibility

Electronic records lack physical and visual clues about their origins and their authenticity. Maintain- ing content, structure and context of electronic records is, therefore, both more vital and difficult than with traditional analog records.

What are the tools for records management? ›

Records Management Tools
  • Authorization to Destroy Paper Records (higher ed)
  • Authorization to Destroy Paper Records (state)
  • Certification of the Preparation of Records for Microfilming.
  • Disaster Recovery Inventory Control List and Object Documentation List.
  • Destructions Log.
  • File Plan.
20 Oct 2022

What are the two main types of records? ›

Records can be divided into two categories: 1) Official, and 2) Transitory/Convenience. "Official records" are: records having the legally recognized and judicially enforceable quality of establishing some fact, policy, or institutional position or decision.

What are the key steps in records management? ›

Records management includes tasks like:
  • Identifying, classifying and storing records.
  • Establishing and enforcing policies, standards and guidelines.
  • Assigning responsibilities and managers.
  • Maintaining usability.
  • Providing internal and external access.
  • Integrating records management as part of daily operations.

What are five benefits of the EHR? ›

With EHRs, information is available whenever and wherever it is needed.
  • Improved Patient Care.
  • Increase Patient Participation.
  • Improved Care Coordination.
  • Improved Diagnostics & Patient Outcomes.
  • Practice Efficiencies and Cost Savings.
5 Oct 2017

What are the 10 most important documents in the EHR? ›

  • Administrative and billing data.
  • Patient demographics.
  • Progress notes.
  • Vital signs.
  • Medical histories.
  • Diagnoses.
  • Medications.
  • Immunization dates.
9 Apr 2019

What is the difference between EHR and EMR? ›

Key Differences

The main thing to understand about how these two types of systems differ is that EMR provides digital patient charts for a single practice, whereas EHR allow physicians to easily share records with other healthcare providers regardless of location.

Is EDM a CRM? ›

EDM is a powerful tool for CRM and marketing. Use it.

What is the difference between EDM and email marketing? ›

Producing an EDM is a much larger effort than simple email communication. An EDM will employ multiple forms of communication to get your message out there and then work to reinforce your campaign messaging. An email marketing campaign, on the other hand, is purely based on email send-outs.

What is the key element of EDM? ›

Effective EDM usually includes the creation, documentation and enforcement of operating policies and procedures associated with change management, (i.e. data model, business glossary, master data shared domains, data cleansing and normalization), data stewardship, security constraints and dependency rules.

Who is responsible for enterprise data management? ›

Enterprise data managers are most often database administrators, IT administrators, or IT project managers. They are in charge of the process of managing your business's entire data life cycle.

Is SharePoint a ECM? ›

SharePoint has been heavily used for Enterprise Content Management (ECM), since its very first release.

What is ECM architecture? ›

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) has been a major part of corporate technology architecture for over a decade. Traditionally, it's been a set of processes, strategies, and tools that allow an enterprise to capture, manage, store, and preserve content throughout the organization.

What is the difference between DMS and CMS? ›

DMS: manages structured data and is focused on documents in the traditional sense in such formats as Word, PDF, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. CMS: handles both structured data and unstructured data, such as web content (HTML and PDF files) and digital assets (images and audio and video files).

How is ERM implemented? ›


The steps in the risk management process (or a variety thereof) include: risk and opportunity identification, risk evaluation and assessment, strategic risk response and implementation, and review, evaluation and monitoring. These steps will be reviewed in more detail.

What is ERM implementation? ›

ERM implementation is a continuous process of integrating business strategies designed to mitigate or optimize enterprise risk.

What are ERM tools? ›

Enterprise risk management (ERM) is a framework for managing organizational risk.
Additionally, built-in advanced controls and automation allow you to:
  • Automate monitoring and control of user access.
  • Continuously monitor user activity with AI.
  • Simplify financial reporting and compliance.

What is the purpose of an ERM framework? ›

ERM frameworks help establish a consistent risk management culture, regardless of employee turnover or industry standards. They guide risk management functions and help enterprises manage complexity, visualize risk, assign ownership, and define responsibility for assessing and monitoring risk controls.

Why electronic records management is important? ›

An Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) will ensure records aren't lost, and help you get any information or data you need quickly and reliably. Saving money wherever possible is key for any start-up, and storing documents electronically is a cost effective way to manage all your records.

What are 4 characteristics of records? ›

Characteristics of records systems
  • routinely capture records within the scope of the business activity it supports.
  • routinely create process metadata.
  • provide adequate information about the records within them.
  • have controls that will ensure accuracy and quality of records created, captured and managed.

What are the types of records management? ›

Generally speaking, there are two types of records management systems: traditional paper record management systems, and electronic record management systems. As the name might imply, traditional paper record management systems involve the management and storage of hard-copy documents.

What is the use of electronic documents? ›

Digital documents serve a variety of purposes, though some of the most common examples include personnel records, legal documents, internal communications, applications, and invoices.

What are the five main functions that are performed by an electronic health record? ›

These functions include:
  • health information and data.
  • result management.
  • order management.
  • decision support.
  • electronic communication and connectivity.
  • patient support.
  • administrative processes and reporting.
  • reporting and population health.
1 Aug 2019

Why is records management Important? ›

Ultimately, Records Management ensures that institutional records of vital historical, fiscal, and legal value are identified and preserved, and that non-essential records are discarded in a timely manner according to established guidelines and identified legislation.

What are the 5 important documents? ›

In this post, we're listing five important types of legal documents, along with the reasons they're important to strategically complete.
  • Guardianship Documents. ...
  • Health Care Power of Attorney. ...
  • Financial Power of Attorney. ...
  • Living Will. ...
  • Last Will and Testament. ...
  • U.S. Legal Services Can Help!
31 May 2018

What are 3 types of documents? ›

Types of documents
  • HTML files.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.
  • Microsoft Word documents.
  • Plain text documents.
  • PDFs.

What is the difference between digital records and electronic records? ›

When it comes to document management specifically, digital records are representations of physical documents (even if they originated in digital format) whereas electronic records are created solely for use within computer systems. In spite of the differences, the two are often used together.

What are 4 advantages of EHR? ›

Improving patient and provider interaction and communication, as well as health care convenience. Enabling safer, more reliable prescribing. Helping promote legible, complete documentation and accurate, streamlined coding and billing. Enhancing privacy and security of patient data.

What are the 3 components of the EHR system? ›

Elements of EHRs

Compared to paper records, electronic health records contain more information about the patient and their care. Most EHRs contain the following information: Patient's demographic, billing, and insurance information.

What are the major functions of a record management system? ›

Records management is the planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promoting, and other managerial activities involved in records creation, maintenance and use, and disposition to achieve adequate and proper documentation of the policies and transactions of the Federal Government and effective and ...

Who is responsible for records management? ›

Record custodians maintain, secure, and care for records in accordance with company guidelines. This individual is the manager of a unit assigned to the role by the record proprietor. In some cases the record proprietor and record custodian may be the same person, and there could actually be more than one custodian.


1. GSA's Solution to Electronic Records Management
(GSA (General Services Administration))
2. Introducing Electronic Records Management.
(Robyn de Melo)
3. Versatile Electronic Records Management System (ERMS)
(Zasio Enterprises, Inc.)
4. Electronic Records Management with Collabware
5. Signing Notes in Electronic Records Management (EMR) Systems
(Jackson LLP Healthcare Lawyers)
6. Introduction to Electronic Records Management
(Kule Folklore Centre)
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