Many important processes in the pharmaceutical industry produce a large number of documents. From doctors’ prescriptions to documentation on clinical trials, the amount of information that must be kept on record is staggering.
Document-related processes exist on every level of the pharma world. Due to this, the adoption of an electronic solution to manage information can substantially improve the efficiency of operations and communications. Moreover, it can help you save a fortune on paper and ink.
What is a pharmaceutical document management system?
In the pharmaceutical industry, a document management system (DMS) is an effective solution for the handling of vast volumes of operational information. The acquisition of a digital document management system is key to achieving a paperless document management environment.
Why pharma companies need a document management system
The pharma industry requires a substantial amount of organization to function safely and efficiently. File management via a digital document management solution guarantees the safe and seamless transferring and storage of critical data.
What are the benefits of electronic document management?
1. Enhancing storage space capabilities
Electronic document management software can help you get rid of the file cabinets, boxes, and storage bins filling up in your office. In a day and age where physical space is a very valuable commodity to any kind of organization, making the best out of one’s physical workspace is a must.
While some documents are of a sensitive nature and must exist in physical form, most documentation can be stored as digital files with no detriment to operations. On the contrary, the digital transformation of documents is a net positive for operational efficiency.
2. Advanced security measures
A vast amount of the data generated and gathered by the pharma industry is of a very sensitive nature. From patient information to critical product data, much can be compromised if an unscrupulous third party were to break in. Likewise, one can’t ignore the possibility that an employee could be running some sort of dodgy side business under the table using your organization’s data.
In the pharma industry, documents must go through a lot of hands. Tracking down who handled a particular task and at what moment can be complicated. Considering pharmaceutical data contains proprietary information and trade secrets, its confidentiality should be of major concern.
The robust system architecture of a modern DMS solution keeps hackers and other malicious third parties away from digital files. Thanks to the implementation of encryption algorithms, digital documents are made accessible only to those with the right credentials. Additionally, the system keeps a log of who has accessed it and viewed the documentation.
3. Improving regulatory compliance
Operating in accordance with the law is crucial, but it can also be complicated and time-consuming. Non-conformance to rules and regulations can lead to receiving a fine, having a license revoked, and even being convicted of a crime. This can become a bigger issue when considering many documents have very complex compliance requirements. Consider that even an accidental slip up with the law can end with dire consequences.
A high-quality management system for documentation is capable of keeping records and automating many processes related to regulatory compliance. For instance, all documents are meticulously classified and stored, making their retrieval and inspection incredibly simple.
4. Easier document management
In a traditional office environment, a considerable amount of time and money are wasted due to the reliance on paper documents. Dealing with misfiled documents and printers getting jammed are just two of the many examples of why digital documentation is superior. Making the switch to digital documents empowers you to optimize document management and record-keeping processes.
Digital documents stored in a DMS can’t get lost or misplaced. Furthermore, thanks to document management processes such as immediate filing and automatic backups, a solid and complete record of all data is made possible. If, for instance, an audit was to happen, all information is easy to access and share.
Important documents, such as complaints or recalls, must be stored for an unspecified number of years. When this happens, it’s important not to misplace a single document, as doing so might mean going through years of documentation for a single page. Naturally, digital documentation makes this a thing of the past, while also providing a much more convenient way of checking any kind of document.
Searching for digital documents is as easy as typing a keyword into a search bar. Through electronic document management, one can even search within a document for a specific phrase, word, or alphanumeric value. This improvement makes it effortless for management to analyze crucial data. Thus, gathered insights can help improve the decision-making process.
5. Better communication
Electronic document management software simplifies the flow of information between colleagues and departments, regardless of how far they are from one another. Thanks to electronic imaging, sharing digital files via email or the internet is easier than ever before, with the added advantage of the data being reachable from multiple locations.
6. Preventing accidents
Accidents happen, it is a fact of life. From someone falling due to having to carry out big boxes of documents to volumes of critical data being lost in a fire, having stacks of paper piling up in the office can become a safety hazard.
Not only are accidents potentially harmful, but they also make professionals waste time they could use on more important assignments. Even a gust of wind through the window is enough to turn a neat stack of papers into a mess in need of re-filing.
A major advantage of digital documents is that they can exist without occupying any space. Cloud-based document management solutions keep your data safe from both coffee stains and basement floods. Thanks to documents being easily accessible from a remote location and organized automatically, a DMS prevents both physical and logistical accidents from happening.
How to choose the best document management software
There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing document management software. One must think about what DMS system best aligns with their particular needs, while also looking for a safe, collaborative, and streamlined solution.
When choosing the right document management software, it is important to consider the following:
- Industry experience
- Collaborative features
- Reporting tools
Choosing a document management system that specializes in the industry you work in is more beneficial than going for a generic option. Not every business operates in the same way, and certain needs of the pharma industry will not be covered by a run-of-the-mill DMS.
If a DMS solution doesn’t allow document management processes to be viewed and collaborated on by various users and from different locations, then it will offer very limited functionality. As the world becomes more mobile and interconnected, it becomes necessary to be able to have one’s important information accessible from multiple places at once.
A cloud-based document management solution allows employees to access the files they need to work regardless of their location. By creating a streamlined communicational flow, cloud-based DMA empowers colleagues to view, share, and co-author documents in real-time.
A DMS with poor security features puts your data at risk of being accessed by hackers and other malicious third parties. Not only does this include information about your work, but your identity and that of your partners and employees as well. Make sure to choose a DMS solution that offers robust security infrastructure.
Being safe is not just a manner of keeping your data away from prying eyes. Accountability is important for the integrity of operations as well as for regulatory compliance. Being able to have controlled access to information, including the capacity to track what actions were performed with stored items, provides a more streamlined pharmaceutical management process.
The daily assignments of both managers and employees will be made much simpler if they have access to on-demand detailed reports. A document management software platform should contain modern reporting tools capable of generating reports with ease. Taking it one step further, the best DMS solutions allow users to customize their reports to their particular needs.
A document management system may have all the advanced features in the world, but if these are not easy to access and operate, they might as well not be there. Remember that implementing a new type of technology comes with a learning curve, and every employee who is meant to use the software must learn the ropes. Investing in a DMS system with a modern UI that is easy to learn and use will save you a considerable amount of time and stress.
Pharmaceutical document management system
Agatha SOP is a cloud-based application which is used by pharma companies looking to improve the quality of their digital operations. Our solution provides audit records, documented changes, and electronic signatures to ensure every activity is fully documented and ready for inspection.
By implementing Agatha SOP you have access to many benefits, including:
- Custom forms and rendering: Users of Agatha SOP can leverage forms to drive processes based on metadata as well as use metadata to generate renditions.
- Basic preview and annotations: You can preview and annotate PDF and Office documents, and image.
- Cross workspace reporting: You can create views and reports across workspaces and export results to Excel for dashboard reporting.
- Secure cloud: Agatha SOP is hosted in a highly secure cloud service that satisfies the needs of security-sensitive customers.
- Easy audit preparation: You can simplify audit preparation with complete SOP documents, accurate training records, and specialized views and reports for inspectors.
- Advanced integration toolkit: You can use Agatha’s Rest API to allow applications to upload or export items from Agatha (includes documentation and sample code).
The best way to know if our application meets your specific needs is to try it out and the good news is that we offer a free trial!