“Having a state-of-the-art product that has not only kept up with our growth
over the years but also continues to provide new technology solutions is
-Susan Carlson, Associate Dir. of Administration and Finance – Records and Information Management School of Medicine and Health Sciences University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences launched its records management program in 1994. The School was moving into a different building and needed to do something about the high volume of records that had built up over the years, so they hired a records manager, Susan Carlson, CRM. Susan reviewed the situation and determined the need for a records management solution to track records, and a retention schedule to identify what needed to be kept and what they could destroy. Susan interviewed different vendors and decided to implement Versatile for DOS™, Zasio’s original records management solution. Since the initial implementation in 1995, Versatile has grown with Susan and her team. From Versatile for DOS, they scaled up to Versatile Professional™, Zasio’s records management solution for small-to-mid-sized companies, and then to Versatile Enterprise™—their current, enterprise-level solution. “You rarely stay with a company for this long, but at every turn, Zasio helps us transition and continues to provide products that meet our needs. They grow with us,” said Susan.
Versatile Enterprise is the solution of choice for Susan’s team because it’s a fully integrated system that does it all. “I wanted a seamless interface for our records tracking program and the ability to develop and manage our retention schedule. Versatile Enterprise allows us to do all of this,” said Susan. Versatile Enterprise comes with many state-of-the-art features, but Susan relies heavily upon its searchability, retention schedule, destruction capabilities, and Zasio’s customer support.
Under Susan’s training, her team quickly learned to take advantage of Versatile Enterprise’s description feature to input information like keywords and report titles for easy, full-text searching. “It’s nice because people can search for things and find them without having to talk to the records team, and we’re not dependent on a single user or someone having to remember where things are,” said Susan. “People come and go and as they do, it’s so much easier to have a system where we can find things.”
Susan wanted to manage her retention schedule within her records management solution. With Versatile Enterprise, she can. “The retention schedule is our foundation and having it right in Versatile Enterprise is huge for us!” said Susan. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences has many record series that require different retention periods and retention calculations. To accommodate this, Zasio was able to customize Versatile Enterprise for them, adapting standard retention calculations to meet the specialized retention calculations necessary for a school of their caliber and the different types of medical records they come across.
For Susan, the destruction feature is a key benefit. Initially, the School had a huge volume of records because, pre-Susan, staff had never received guidelines for retention management; they kept everything forever. Once the retention schedule was in place, Susan used the destruction feature to begin cleaning up the various departments. Today, her destruction process is simple. She sends an annual report to records coordinators identifying records eligible for destruction, they pull the records and destroy them, and she tracks it all right in the system. “My goal was to send fewer records to the University’s archive each year as we got through all of these various departments,” said Susan. “For a while, I was sending roughly 100 boxes to archive annually. Now, I’m down to about 30.”
Zasio is known for their outstanding customer service and Susan could not agree more. “The support team has been there for all of our major conversions. In the past, they’ve physically come onsite to offer help and training. Now with Zoom and Teams, we do it that way, but it’s great because they understand what we’re doing and what we’re about,” she said. “Being able to simply call when you need answers, talk to a live human, and get those answers in a few minutes is amazing. It’s so valuable.”
One of Susan’s favorite parts about Zasio and the Versatile system is how it’s broken up into modular add-ons. “It’s a quality product separated into modules, but when you put them together, it’s fully integrated,” she said. The two main add-ons Susan’s team uses are Versatile Imaging™ and Versatile Electronic Records Management System™ (ERMS).
The University added Versatile Imaging in 2014 before moving into a newly built facility. They wanted to save floor space and avoid clutter by turning their high-volume of student files into scanned files they could store as electronic records. With Imaging, they can easily scan files directly into Versatile Enterprise and manage them as records, applying the same retention and destruction policies as they would for a physical record.
Versatile ERMS is the latest add-on to the School’s suite of Versatile products. Initially, the records coordinators of the various departments were slow to adapt but when COVID-19 hit in 2020, people were forced to work at home and the need for electronic records became more apparent. To help with the implementation and adoption of ERMS, Zasio’s Support Team customized it, adding an automation process that would ensure consistency and familiarity in how the School manages its physical and electronic student records. “I offer training sessions on ERMS and at the end, people always say, “wow, it’s so easy!”’ said Susan. “It’s like a shared drive, people don’t have to think twice about how the records get in and they can easily find what they’re looking for.” She adds that it’s also nice to have processes in place to handle records that are delivered as an attachment via email or DocuSign because they can go right into ERMS. “I’m always explaining how so much information today comes in electronically, if we just capture it and manage it electronically in ERMS from the start, our lives will be so much easier,” said Susan.
Since implementing Versatile, Susan and her records team have built a highly efficient records and information management program from scratch. Starting in the days of paper records, and transitioning into the high-speed pace of electronic records, Zasio’s Versatile product line has been there for them every step of the way. “I wanted a solution that would manage information from cradle-to-grave and apply retention times automatically, and I’ve found that and more with Versatile,” said Susan. “Having a state-of-the-art product that has not only kept up with our growth over the years but also continues to provide new technology solutions is truly amazing.”
Zasio has over three decades of service in Information Governance (IG). We focus on one thing, helping businesses get started in records management and maintain top-of-the-line IG programs. Since starting in the industry, we’ve recruited a team of experts, including software developers and technicians, attorneys, analysts, Certified Records Managers (CRMs), Information Governance Professionals (IGPs), and Certified Information Privacy Professionals (CIPPs)—all in-house—who keep up with evolving IG trends, and scale our Versatile solutions to meet demands of both customers new to records management and seasoned veterans. It’s no wonder why thousands of companies, including half of the top 20 Fortune 500, have trusted our software solutions and expert consulting services to implement world-class Information Governance programs.