Unless you’re living in a Wi-Fi-free cave on a remote island, you’ve seen how technology has become an integral part of our lives at home, work, the grocery store, the doctor’s office – pretty much everywhere, you name it. Doctors no longer need to fill out prescriptions on a pad of paper, stores often email or text us our receipts, and many of us have traded in snail mail for autopay to take care of our monthly bills.
In this age of ubiquitous tech, when technology has become so fundamental to our normal daily functioning and paper records have become outdated and obsolete, why are there still fire departments that haven’t made the switch to electronic record management? There may be several reasons, including cost and the perceived burden of having to make a time-consuming switch. But the truth is, fire records management and reporting software is more affordable than you may think and switching over from paper doesn’t have to be a daunting, time-sucking experience. In the end, you’d likely be saving time and money.
If you’re still using old school paper records at your agency, you’re missing out on the many benefits that will far outweigh any minor inconvenience you might experience during the transition. Keep reading to learn about a few of the major benefits and to see why you should make the move from paper to an electronic records management system (RMS) and reporting in 2021:
- Easy Access to Your Reports and Data: When your data is submitted electronically and backed up in the cloud, it’s always available right at your fingertips for instant access, anywhere and anytime. You’ll no longer be flipping through binders, folders, and files to manually gather the data you need. When it comes time to do things like applying for grant funding, defending your budget to decision-makers, creating an annual report, or even purchasing new equipment, your data will be easily accessible to help you tell your department’s story and help you make data-driven decisions.
- Saves Time and Increases Efficiency: Emergency Reporting customer Mike Brubaker, Fire Chief at City of Loudon Fire Department in Tennessee, said: “It’s so much easier to use, as we speed right through reports. We are able to save time because all of our paper reports are consolidated now; daily apparatus checks, pre-plans, maintenance and the occupancy module…all can be completed in the field with iPads so we can input more data, faster, on the spot.”
- Easier Accreditation and Compliance: Not only will switching to an RMS open up new and easier ways to leverage your data, it will also make things much more convenient when it comes to compliance and accreditation. Whether it’s local ordinances, state laws, FOIA & Public Records Requests, ISO audits, lawsuits, Workers’ Compensation, etc. – you’ll have easy access to all the data you need.
Here are a few of the other main benefits of switching from paper to digital:
- Data is more secure and backed up in the cloud
- Doesn’t take up physical space in the station
- It is easy to use
- Increased reporting accuracy
- Integrated NFIRS/NEMSIS reporting (you can complete one report instead of two)
David LaCelle, Lieutenant/Fire Code Official at City of Jerome Fire Department in Idaho, said that before discovering ER, the majority of their fire and life safety inspection records were on paper: “Then we made the change to Emergency Reporting, which has streamlined our inspection process and record keeping. I no longer have to search extensive paper files for records. Our inspection reports can be completed on site, signed, and emailed. I no longer have to make an extra trip back to the building to hand deliver reports.”
With a high-quality records management and reporting software, you won’t just be upgrading from paper to electronic records – you’ll have access to a plethora of modules, tools, and customizable add-ons to help you manage your entire organization. Check out this free white paper, “Building a Business Case for Cloud-Based Records Management Software,” which discusses why making the switch to cloud-based records management software is an effective (yet often overlooked) way that you can save time and money.
If you’d like to learn more about moving paper records to digital and hear about all of the benefits switching to RMS offers, watch this ER webinar on YouTube, sign up for one of our live demo webinars or drop us a line.
Once you ditch paper, you won’t look back.